More than 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire and over 23,000 injured since the start of the "Great March of Return" protests in the besieged Gaza Strip on 30 March until the end of last year, UN OCHA revealed in a report yesterday.
"Since 30 March 2018, the Gaza Strip has witnessed a significant increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of mass demonstrations and other activities along Israel's perimeter fence with Gaza, taking place as part of the Great March of Return."
OCHA confirmed that "254 Palestinians were killed in Gaza between 30 March and 31 December, among them 180 killed during the March of Return protests at the Gaza border with Israel and the rest in other circumstances but also by Israeli gunfire. Among those killed 44 were children and four were women."
The report pointed out that "23,603 Palestinians were injured during the same period, almost all of them during the March of Return protests and included 5,183 boys, 464 girls, and 1,437 women."
"The largest number of fatalities and injuries occurred in May (80 deaths and 5,981 injuries) during mass protests against the relocation of the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."
OCHA stressed: "The large number of casualties among unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, including a high percentage of demonstrators hit by live ammunition, has raised concerns about excessive use of force by Israeli troops. Exposure of children to violence and lack of protection for medical teams are also of concern."