TWENTY-NINE Palestinian civilians have been killed and 3,000 wounded by Israeli snipers and tanks firing at unarmed demonstrators near the Gaza border over the past fortnight. This figure includes the ten Palestinians, two of them teenagers, who were killed last Friday with 1,000 injured!
However, Israeli minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman brazenly claimed on Israel’s public radio yesterday: ‘There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip. Everyone’s connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas, and all the activists trying to challenge us and breach the (Gaza) border are Hamas military wing activists.’
Three Palestinian young men were shot on Saturday and injured by Israeli forces near the border fence, east of Gaza City, according to medical sources. The injured were moved to Shifa Hospital in Gaza for medical treatment. One of the three was reported to have been critically injured, while the condition of the other two was described as moderate.
Member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s Executive Committee, Hanan Ashrawi, condemned on Saturday Israel’s deliberate attacks against unarmed Palestinian protesters. She said: ‘Despite the fact that the protestors were unarmed, Israeli forces deliberately targeted Palestinians with sniper fire, live ammunition, tear gas, and rubber-coated steel bullets.
‘At least 27 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including sixteen-year-old Husain Madi and photo-journalist Yasser Murtaja, and more than 2,500 have been injured across the occupied Palestinian territory.
‘With a sense of shock and outrage, we also condemn the US for preventing the UN Security Council from adopting a statement demanding that Israel respect international law and the right of Palestinian civilians to demonstrate peacefully.
‘Despite the support of other members of the Security Council, the US compounded its culpability by blocking the statement for the second time this week,’ Ashrawi continued. Dozens of journalists gathered at Manara Square in Ramallah, in the central West Bank, on Saturday to condemn the fatal shooting of Murtaja at the Gaza-Israel border on Friday.
Representatives of political factions and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemned what they described as the unjustified murder of Murtaja, who was wearing a flak jacket with the words PRESS very visible on it.