Protests continue in Gaza

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A map of the Gaza Strip, current as of 2018.

Protests continue for the fifth week along the Gaza-Israel border as more injuries and deaths accumulate. As of April 23, Haaretz reports 40 Palestinians have been killed and over 5,500 injured—1,499 by live ammunition, 107 by rubber bullets, 408 from gas inhalation and 582 from unspecified causes.  

Of the total injured, 2,596 were treated at government hospitals. An additional 773 were seen at nongovernmental hospitals, and the remaining 2,142 were treated in the field. Approximately 450 of those treated at governmental hospitals were minors.

On April 27, more than 10,000 Palestinians participated in protests, according to the Israeli Army.  At least three more Palestinians were killed, including a 15-year-old boy. According to Al Jazeera, more than 950 people were injured, including 174 by live fire. Four medical staff and six journalists were among the wounded.

Gaza’s hospitals, already under-equipped and experiencing severe shortages of supplies and electricity, are struggling to provide assistance in the wake of the mass casualties.

According to Middle East Monitor, at least 77 medical staff have been injured and 14 ambulances damaged since March 30.

Two journalists have also been killed, the most recent being Ahmed Abu Hussein who was shot on April 13 and died from his injuries on April 25, as reported by Reuters. Hussein was a reporter working for Gaza’s Al-Shaab radio station and as a field photographer for local news outlet Bisan. Thousands of Palestinians attended Hussein’s April 26 funeral procession.

Photojournalist Yousef Kronz had one of his legs amputated at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital after being shot in the legs. He has since been moved to the West Bank’s Istishari Arab Hospital in an effort to save his other leg.

The Israeli Defense Force conducted airstrikes on Hamas outposts April 27, striking six naval targets and wounding four in the process, Haaretz reported. An IDF statement reported the strikes were in response to activity along the Gaza border, including attempts to breach the Israeli-Gaza border.

Though the protests began as a popular movement on March 30, Islamist organization Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip as a separate entity from Fatah, has stated the protests will culminate on May 15, which marks Israel’s Independence Day, Palestine’s Nakba, the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem and the first day of Ramadan.

On April 29, IDF soldiers shot two Palestinians trying to breach the Israel-Gaza border. One was killed, the other was arrested and taken in for questioning.

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