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Israel killed 3 Palestinian civilians, injured 500, in first half of March

Palestinian protesters are injured as a result of Israeli occupation forces using live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets to disperse unarmed demonstrators in the Gaza Strip on 12 January 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli occupation forces killed three Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the first two weeks of March, a UN agency reported yesterday.

The three fatalities included a demonstrator and a farmer. Some 500 Palestinians were also injured by Israeli forces over the same two-week period.

According to UN OCHA, the violence brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2018 to 18, with some 2,000 injured across the occupied Palestinian territory.

On 10 March, the report states, a 22-year-old Palestinian was killed with live ammunition in ‘Urif village near Nablus, “during clashes following the entry of armed Israeli settlers”.

Then on 12 March, a 24-year-old Palestinian was shot in Hebron, as Israeli occupation forces suppressed a demonstration.

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UN OCHA noted that while the Israeli army claimed the man was involved in throwing Molotov cocktails, “Palestinian eyewitnesses indicated that he was not involved in the clashes when he was shot”.

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, “a 59-year-old Palestinian farmer was shot dead by Israeli forces” on 4 March “while working his land near the perimeter fence surrounding Gaza, east of Khan Younis”. According to a human rights group, “the incident occurred at around 200 metres from the fence”.

#PalestinianLivesMatter

In that context, UN OCHA reported that since the beginning of 2018, there have been “at least 142 incidents of opening of fire at Palestinian farmers and fishermen reported in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA), resulting in 2 fatalities and 11 injuries”.

Just during the two-week reporting period, one incident saw 11 fishermen “forced to take off their clothes and swim to Israeli naval boats, where they were detained and their boats and fishing nets seized”, while Israeli airplanes also “sprayed herbicides on farming land near the fence in northern Gaza”.

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