Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza marched to the edges of their 140-square-mile penof territory Friday to face off against the Israeli military after calls for demonstrations.
But the day turned to bloodshed as the Israeli military used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the crowds, killing 16 people and injuring hundreds, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.
Spurred by poverty, unemployment and a growing sense of hopelessness, about 17,000 Palestinian demonstrators gathered along several points on the border fence with Israel, according to Israeli estimates.
The Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip, and other Palestinian factions had called for a peaceful ”March of Return” for Land Day, which marks the Israel government’s expropriation of Arab-owned land in 1976. Trucks mounted with loudspeakers had urged Palestinians in recent days to attend demonstrations.
Along with the 16 people who were shot dead, it’s estimated over 1500 people have been injured since these attacks started on the protesters. This was a literal, actual chemical weapons attack – combined with live Zionist sniper fire of course. Illegal, barbaric, and condoned/provided for by British and American regimes and their weapons manufacturers.
Israel had warned that it would use live ammunition, dropping leaflets saying that anyone who came within 300 meters of the fence would be in danger. But some Gazans said they did not care if they died.
The United Nations has said that Gaza is on the brink of economic collapse.
Punitive measures by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Ramallah against its rival Hamas, including a cut in salaries paid in Gaza, have compounded the already crippling effect of a blockade imposed by Israel, which severely restricts the movement of people and goods.
A few hundred yards from the border near Gaza City, a festival atmosphere prevailed as families gathered for picnics. Stalls sold ice cream, smoothies, nuts and sandwiches, even as ambulances screamed past ferrying the injured and as tear gas canisters were dropped from Israeli military drones.
Six Palestinians were killed in protests against the Israeli land expropriations in 1976, but by Friday afternoon, those killed marking the anniversary had exceeded that number. They were only following orders, same excuse as the Nazi’s had during WW II.
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting over the situation in Gaza, but the USA blocked a draft statement which urged restraint and called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into Friday’s violence.
Sott.net / AA-Magnum News 2018.