4:30pm local time
Al Mezan is alarmed by the rapidly increasing number of casualties during today’s Nakba Day protests. By 4:30pm local time (+2 GMT), the Israeli military had killed at least 24 protesters in the Gaza Strip, including two children and one person with disability. At least another 800 Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition—many of whom are in critical condition.
In the early morning hours, Israeli forces flattened the sand dunes built up by Palestinian protesters for protection, indicating an assumed intention on the part of the military to improve visibility for the purpose of targeting protesters. Also, at approximately 6:30am Israeli drones fire-bombed tents and field-based medical units. Some of the tents were destroyed.
Within this context, and acknowledging the state of the crippled healthcare system in Gaza due to the illegal Israeli closure policy, Al Mezan is alarmed by the news that on 12 May 2018, the Israeli authorities denied the entry of a Palestinian Ministry of Health medical delegation to Gaza. The team of doctors from the occupied West Bank sought to provide medical treatment to casualties in Gaza.
In recognition of the dramatic humanitarian and legal implications of today’s escalation, Al Mezan is urging the international community to take prompt steps to protect unarmed protesters and their right to peaceful assembly, to pressure Israeli forces to abstain from using unlawful force, and to allow free movement of patients, medical personnel, and medicines and equipment.
Al Mezan continues to verify the documentation of incidents on the ground and will issue updated information throughout the day.