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.
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.
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.