The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza has stated 15 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a protest demanding the right of return for refugees.
Thousands of Palestinians marched to the border on Friday at the start of weeks of planned protests to demand that refugees be allowed to return to their homes that are now in Israel. The Israelis say 17,000 Palestinians are protesting along the border.
The ‘Great March of Return’ demonstration is intended to be peaceful, and would comprise of families of men, women, and children camping. Other cultural events are also planned.
The Israeli military has dismissed the demonstration as a Hamas ploy to ‘carry out terror attacks’, despite no protesters being armed, and women and children being involved.
Israeli forces enforce a no-go zone for Palestinians on land in Gaza close to the fence and often fire on young Palestinian men.
The Israeli military used live rounds and tear gas to disperse protesters.
Commentary from Editor-in-Chief, Iwan Doherty:
The deaths of yet more Palestinians in a never ending conflict with Israel are both tragic and avoidable. Israel’s simply terrible record of treatment of Palestinians continues to go unpunished by the international community. I do not expect to see sanctions imposed by any Western nation as a result of these actions either. A final peace deal only looks further from sight, especially after Donald Trump’s decision for the USA to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 12 died in violence following that announcement.
If there is to be an end to this crisis, the West must apply external pressure to Israel. I would call on our government to sanction the Israeli government for their actions. I would also call on media outlets like the BBC to stop describing protesters being shot at, as ‘clashes’. In an overwhelming one sided conflict, the international community must do more to help Palestinians. For every 15 people killed in the conflict, 13 are Palestinians. It must end.
I hope both Jeremy Corbyn and the Prime Minister can come together and work to help stop the violence in Palestine and Israel. With the USA rejected as a mediator for peace, it is time for a European power to attempt to play that difficult role.