March 31, 2018. Gisha expresses grave concern that the lethal force used yesterday in the Gaza Strip could have been avoided had the rules of engagement been dictated by international law rather than a desire to quash protest. Reports indicate that protestors were shot merely for approaching closer than 300 meters from the fence, even in cases where they posed no danger. According to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 15 people were killed and over 1,400 were injured, including more than 700 by live-fire.
For more than 10 years, residents of Gaza have lived under excessively harsh restrictions on movement, made possible by Israel’s closure of the Strip’s land, sea and air space. A daily reality unbearable by any reasonable standards has been compounded by the impact of three devastating military operations and left little hope to Gaza’s overwhelmingly young population.
Gisha expresses deep sorrow about the loss of life and high number of injuries and calls on the Israeli authorities to respect the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and to refrain from excessive use of force.