Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) works around the clock to document all Israeli violations and war crimes against Great March of Return (GMR) peaceful protestors, especially children, women and the elderly.
Aside from legal documentation of Israeli war crimes, PCHR follows urgent cases that require immediate and advanced medical care that is unavailable in the Gaza Strip.
PCHR intervenes with the concerned Israeli authorities to acquire exit permits for civilians who were shot by Israeli snipers at GMR protests. To save their lives or spare them an avoidable amputation.
Unfortunately PCHR has a low success rate in acquiring necessary permits for the wounded, which means either they die or undergo an amputation, which results in permanent disabilities.
PCHR leads the legal work on these issues with the concerned Israeli bodies.
– Mohammed Alami, Lawyer at PCHR
Khaled Moussa Abu-Azzoum
“I was standing with Mahmoud and Hani. All of a sudden rubber bullets were being shot in the area, and I was shot in the face. Hand carried me to the ambulance which took me to the hospital. At first I thought it was a tear gas canister.
My name is Khaled Moussa Abu-Azzoum, I am 14 years old, I was shot and injured at the east Gaza Strip border area.
I went there to play with my cousins, then tear gas canisters were all over the place and while I was looking at what’s happening , I was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.”
Salah Emad Salam Ghrab
“My name is Salah Emad Salam Ghrab, I am 16 years old and I am a Junior at Sami al-Alami High School. I participated in the GMR protest on 26 October 2018, just like others, I went there to take photos of the peaceful protests as I enjoy photography.
I kept a distance from the border fence, but I was shot. I stayed in the hospital for a week, I was repeatedly told that there is no for my leg to be saved, and it was amputated.
Before the amputation, I had a normal life. I’d go out with friends, go to school, go to work. Afterwards, I was unable to even go to school. I suffered severe damage in my other leg, and it has completely ruined my life, I cannot pursue my education.”
Ibrahim Yasser al-Sattery
“My name is Ibrahim Yasser al-Sattery, I was shot on 26 October, I am 16 years old. After Asr prayers, I went out to the peaceful protest. While I was among protestors, I was shot in the back. I fell to the ground and I was carried to the medical station. I was in the intensive care unit, I tried to move my legs, but they would not move. I felt that I will never be able to walk again. The pain was unbearable.
Before my injury I used to play football with my friends and go to school. Now I can not go anywhere because my injury has severely affected my life. What did I do to deserve this?
I call upon concerned organizations to consider my case, and help me get treatment abroad, perhaps I could walk again.”
The Convention on the Rights of the Child protects children’s rights to life (Article 6), peaceful assembly (Article 15), expression (Article 13) and the highest attainable standard of health (Article 24), among other rights.
The Commission of Inquiry into GMR Protests found reasonable grounds to believe that Israel violated those rights when its forces used lethal force against children who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot.
Ibrahim Said Al-Ouroug
“I am Ibrahim Said Al-Ouroug, I am married with 5 children. I used to work in an Hummus and Foule restaurant, I was content with my life and able to meet my family’s needs.
I went to GMR protests to remind everyone of our right of return to our lands. We went in peace, a we kept away from the border fence. To show them that we have not forgotten and that Israel owes us that right.
Israeli occupation forces rained live and rubber-coated steel bullets down on us.
Shortly after my arrival, I was talking with my friends, and all of a sudden a bullet was in my leg. After about 3 minutes, I lost consciousness and people carried me to the ambulance.
I was taken to al-Shifa Hospital and taken to surgery. My case was referred for medical treatment abroad, however Israeli occupation forces refused to let me travel 3 times. I underwent multiple surgeries in Gaza to no avail.
When one feels bored, they’d take their children to the sea. After my injury, my whole life changed. I have no job, I am unemployed. I hope to get a prosthetic leg and be able to move freely like before.”
Ahmed Hasa Mohammed ‘Awad
“I was injured on 25 May 2018, like everyone else, I was participating at the peaceful protests. While I was there, I heard a shot and was looking around to see where it landed. I had no idea it was me, until I fell and people gathered around me and carried me to the medical station.
I arrived at al-Shifa hospital, they operated on me and admitted me to the ICU where I stayed for 10 days. I had multiple surgeries and my leg was amputated. Each surgery they had the same problem connecting my arteries.
I received over 85 units of blood, my hemoglobin level was 2 when I was in the hospital.
Before my injury, I used to work at a local shop as a salesperson. I was responsible for my family. Since my leg was amputated, our lives were turned upside down. I have no job and cannot find one. Any profession I could get into need me to have a prosthetic leg.”
‘Adel Ahmed Abu Sha’irah
“After my injury, it became nearly impossible for me to find a job or return to my profession as a carpenter. I tried to find an alternative and lead my life normally as before. Yet, I have a family that I need to support. I like to do art as much as I can.
We were at a peaceful protest and I was shot. I was shot with an explosive bullet. People around me found my leg which had ripped off of my body, and flew 3 meters away.
Doctors at al-Shifaa hospital tried to reconstruct my leg. Unfortunately, after 24 hours my leg was amputated as they were unable to reconstruct the veins and arteries.”
Nesma Waleed Yassen – 29
I used to help my mother with chores around the house, now I cannot even hold a broom. I was injured in the Great March of Return protests. I went to the protests only to watch as I was standing along with other women, very far from the border fence.
The Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas canisters at us, I turned my back, I suddenly felt something hit me and I fell to the ground.
(Nesma’s mother- “Young men came and told me that Nesma got injured, I did not believe them because she had just left to join the protests, there is no way she could be injured in that time, but they said she was shot in her back.)
I stayed for one week in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. I was then discharged and told that I will not be able to move as much because I now have a disability in my back. After my injury, I have suffered pulmonary laceration and titanium plates to stabilize the fractured ribs.
What have I done for them to shoot me?”
Mai Suliman Abu-Rwayda – 20
“I don’t know why the occupation forces targeted me. I was far from the border fence, amongst my friends and sisters. I posed no threat to them. I hold a degree in medical administration.
My friends, sisters and I went to the GMR protest in eastern Bureij. I was encouraged to go to the protest by the images of West Bank protests.
I was with the group when all of a sudden, a rubber coated steel bullet hit me in the eye. Fell to the ground, and I was bleeding from my eye. My friends came to rescue me and carried me out. I was taken to al-Shifa Hospital where the CT scans showed I had a fracture in my eye socket. The operation lasted 2 hours and my eye was removed.
I was heartbroken to lose my eye, and I fear fear for my future as it has complicated many aspects of my life. I was unarmed, standing among a group of girls.”
The peaceful GMR protest started on 30 March 2018 along the eastern Gaza Strip borders. Israeli Occupation Forces responded to peaceful protests with excessive force.
The International Commission of Inquiry, established by the Human Rights Council, recognized that the Gaza Strip’s Great March of Return protests are of a peaceful nature, and condemned the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilian protestors, which resulted in the killing of 215 Palestinians and the injury of 14, 854 others.
The Israeli judicial system continues to provide legal cover up for perpetrators of systematic crimes against Palestinian civilians.
Videos: Reposted from PCHR
Transcribed and edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam