Protesters in Gaza continue to die at the hands of Israeli soldiers during the ongoing March of Return protests along the Israel-Gaza border. Two journalists are among the dead.
The protests have occurred along the border each Friday for five straight weeks.
So far, Israeli forces have taken the lives of at least 45 Palestinians, and have injured some 6,000 others.
Palestinians have been fighting for their right to return to their ancestral lands since 1948, when Israel seized Palestinian territory and evicted the population, sending them to “the largest open-air prison” in the world where they have lived under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade ever since.
To make matters even worse for the Palestinian protesters, Israeli forces have introduced new ammunition against the protesters which is designed to rip the human body apart.
The ammunition is called “butterfly bullets,” and they explode on impact, shattering bones and destroying soft tissue.
Some 24 protesters have lost limbs due to the ammunition.
This kind of brutality could perhaps be expected if the Israeli troops were facing another army with comparable firepower.
However, they are not facing another army — they’re facing a group of people who at best are armed with stones and Molotov cocktails.
The choice to employ such devastating ammunition against a group of predominantly peaceful protesters is evidence of the deep-seated racial and religious hatred that the Israelis harbor towards Palestinians.
On April 27, Amnesty International called on nations throughout the world to issue an arms embargo against Israel:
“For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas. Despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters,” – Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International
The United Nations has also expressed disapproval towards Israeli’s use of force when facing the protesters and has called for greater Israeli accountability:
“The loss of life is deplorable and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators – not once, not twice, but repeatedly.” – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein
Iron Triangle Press will continue to cover this story.
To read our original coverage of the March of Return, click here.