Last Friday saw the start of a planned six-week long peaceful protest in Gaza marred with bloodshed and violence.
30,000 Palestinian men, women and children marched near the border with Israel, demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their offspring to land occupied by Israel. The long protest and planned encampment is an effort to raise awareness before the expected relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel.
However, when a few groups of young men began throwing stones, the already prepared Israeli Defence Force snipers began to fire into the crowd, wounding over 1400 protesters and killing 16.
Despite later claiming that the attack was in response to “terrorist activity” near the border, the IDF’s official Twitter account revealed that the military presence had been intentionally prepared and reinforced regarding the protest, even going so far as to claim that they knew “where every bullet landed.” These tweets were later deleted.
With both the UN secretary general, António Guterres, and the EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, calling for independent enquiries into the violence, the Israeli government is under pressure to answer for its actions.
The Israeli Defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, however, remained indignant, saying that he thought all of the troops responsible “deserve a commendation”.
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