Press Releases

Israeli Forces Open Fire at Protesters East of Khan Younis, Killing a Child and Wounding Seven Others

Al Mezan Strongly Condemns the Continued Targeting of Children and Calls for the Protection of Civilians

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29 November 2019 |Reference 105/2019

Time: 20:00 Jerusalem


The Israeli military continues to target protesters who are participating in the demonstrations along the separation fence in the east of the Gaza Strip with lethal and other excessive force. On Friday evening, 29 November 2019, the occupation forces opened fire at a group of young men and children east of Khan Younis, killing a child and wounding seven civilians; doctors described the condition of one of the wounded as serious.


Despite the decision of the Higher National Committee of the Great March of Return to cancel the demonstrations on Friday, 29 November 2019, groups of young men and children went out spontaneously to demonstrate in the east of Khan Younis.


Al Mezan’s documentation show that at around 2pm on Friday, 29 November 2019, dozens of civilians gathered near one of the designated sites for the Great March of Return in the eastern part of Khan Younis, at about 150 to 300 meters from the separation fence. At approximately 3pm on the same day, Israeli soldiers stationed behind the fence started firing live bullets and plastic-coated steel bullets towards the young men and children participating in the demonstrations. This resulted in the injury of eight people, including three with live ammunition; they were rushed to the Gaza European Hospital. Soon afterwards, at around 3:50pm, Fahd Mohammed Walid al-Astal, 16, who had been shot in the abdomen with a live bullet, was pronounced dead at the Gaza European Hospital. The doctors also describe  another wounded person’s condition as severe.


As of this press release, Al Mezan's monitoring and documentation show that since the start of the Great March of Return demonstrations on 30 March 2018, the Israeli forces have killed 47 child protesters, and wounded 4,901 more, including 2,095 with live ammunition.


Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the continued use of excessive force by the Israeli forces, and the killing of the child Fahd al-Astal. Al Mezan asserts that the military’s conduct amounts to serious and systematic violations of the rules of international law and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, given the intentional killing and wounding of unarmed persons exercising their right to peaceful assembly and to free expression, without posing any serious or imminent threat to the forces.


Al Mezan reiterates its call on the international community to stop the violations of the occupation forces, to implement justice in the occupied Palestinian territory, and to provide international protection for the civilian population. The international community must ensure that the occupying power respects its legal obligations under international law, and that perpetrators of such violations are held accountable.