BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza released a report on Saturday showing new statistics regarding the number of Palestinians killed and injured since the start of “The Great March of Return” protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The report showed that Israeli forces shot and killed a total of 167 Palestinians and injured over 18,000 others since the start of “The Great March of Return” protests on March 30th.
The new statistics come after three Palestinians were killed with live bullets fired by Israeli forces on Friday during the 20th “Great March of Return” protests in Gaza.
The ministry confirmed that a paramedic was one of the three killed Palestinians which raised the total number of medics that have been killed by Israeli forces to three.
The report added that 370 paramedics were injured.
Several injured Palestinians were in critical condition, while many others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Additionally, a total of about 70 ambulances were damaged.
The report released by the ministry clearly showed that Israeli forces intentionally targeted Palestinians on Friday with the intention to kill since the injuries were caused by various types of live ammunition and were aimed at specific parts of the body.
Twenty-eight children were among the 307 Palestinians injured during the Friday protests, five were medics, and two were journalists.
Over the past four months of the on-going Gaza protests, human rights organizations have come out in full condemnation of Israel’s violent response to massive unarmed civilian protests.
Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, released a statement condemning Israel’s use of military snipers against the civilian protesters.
Adalah said that “the Israeli military’s use of 100 snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal,” the statement said, adding “live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants.”
B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, stressed that “fragments of information reported by the media indicate that: soldiers will be ordered to shoot anyone coming within 300 meters of the fence; snipers will fire at anyone touching it; live fire will be used also in circumstances which are non-life-threatening. In other words: shoot-to-kill unarmed Palestinians taking part in these demonstrations.”