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Israel killed woman and child protesters at ‘significant distance’ from Gaza fence

February 8, 2019 at 11:54 am

Israeli forces attack protesters during the Great March of Return on 11 January 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli forces killed a woman and child during protests in the occupied Gaza Strip on 11 January while they were at a “significant distance” from the perimeter fence.

The findings were published yesterday by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

Amal A-Taramsi, a 44-year-old resident of Gaza City, was attending a mid-afternoon protest on the day in question, helping those “hurt by tear gas inhalation by spraying their faces with a saline solution”, B’Tselem stated.

At around 4pm, as she stood about 200 metres away from the perimeter fence, Amal was shot in the neck with a live bullet fired by an Israeli sniper. Sustaining a critical injury, Amal was pronounced dead by doctors at Al-Shifaa Hospital.

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On the same day, B’Tselem continued, 13-year-old child ‘Abd a-Ra’uf Salahah, from Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, “attended a different demonstration held east of the camp”.

At around 3pm, ‘Abd a-Ra’uf “and some other teens approached the fence, hung a flag on it, and retreated to a distance of about 150 meters”. At that moment, the boy was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired directly at protesters by Israeli forces.

‘Abd a-Ra’uf was taken to al-Shifaa Hospital, “where he remained in the ICU until the early hours of 14 January 2019, when doctors pronounced him dead”, B’Tselem added.

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The human rights organisation noted how both slain protesters “were hit at a significant distance from the fence. Clearly, neither posed a threat to anyone”.

According to B’Tselem, “the high number of casualties” amongst Palestinians since the start of the “Great Return March” protests in March 2018 “is a direct outcome of the open-fire policy that Israel is employing along the Gaza perimeter fence, including during demonstrations held nearby”.

“Although the lethal outcomes of this criminal policy are well-known, the Israeli authorities refuse to change it, displaying indifference to the lives and deaths of Palestinians,” B’Tselem continued.