Israel wounds 49 Palestinians in Friday protests despite ceasefire

19 of those injured were hit by live ammunition. The injured also included eight paramedics and a journalist, according to Gaza’s health ministry

July 02, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Palestinians' Great March of Return protests
Palestinian men use chairs as makeshift cover, others flee from tear gas during clashes in the Gaza Strip on June 28, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

As many as 49 Palestinians were injured at the hands of Israeli security forces during the weekly Great March of Return protests at the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, June 28. 19 of those injured were hit by live ammunition, the Gaza Ministry of Health stated on June 30. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson for the ministry, said that the injured included eight paramedics and a journalist.

This is despite the fact that a ceasefire deal had reportedly been reached between the Israeli government and Hamas on the same day.

The protesters who marched to the border waved Palestinian flags, burned tires, and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and the US support of it. During the Israeli crackdown on protesters, many of them ended up inhaling tear gas and experiencing suffocation.

Israeli media claimed that Palestinian activists had released more than 40 incendiary balloons towards southern Israel on Friday. 14 fires had broken out in the border communities in Israel as a result of the balloons. No injuries were reported.

On Friday, Israel and Hamas confirmed reports that they had reached an understanding to abide by a ceasefire. It was immediately after this that the Israeli attacks on protesters took place. As per the ceasefire agreement, Israel agreed to re-allow the delivery of fuel to Gaza which was blocked on June 25. Israel also said that it would extend the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 15 nautical miles (28 km) from the current 10 nautical miles and return dozens of confiscated Palestinian fishing boats. In return, Israel demanded that Hamas bring down the level of protests along the border. Israel also wanted Hamas to stop the launch of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory.

Since the beginning of the weekly Great March of Return protests on March 3

0 last year, Israeli forces have killed at least 305 Palestinians and injured more than 17,000 others.