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The Palestinian medical relief team and the volunteer teams deployed in all the centers of the return march were able to deal with dozens of injured people and provide them with first aid. Photo: PMRS

IM condemns Israeli violence in Gaza

Published 15 May 2018

Monday, May 14 2018, marked the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 war and left 55 Palestinians dead, including eight children. 2,771 Palestinians were injured, many of them after having been shot by live ammunition from Israeli soldiers, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA oPt).

“I am saddened to learn about the large numbers of fatalities and injured during the Gaza protests”, says Ann Svensén, Secretary General for IM Swedish Development Partner. “We at IM Swedish Development Partner are shocked by, and condemn, the excessive use of force that has been used against Palestinian civilians, including children. Representing a human rights based organisation we emphasise the importance of respecting the right to life,” Mrs Svensén continues.

The protests on Monday coincided with the official opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The manifestations are part of the “Great March of Return” initiative that started on March 30 this year. Since that date, more than 97 Palestinians have been killed, and 12,271 injured, including several hundred children, according to numbers from OCHA oPt.

Today May 15, Palestine buries the dead from yesterday and mourns. It also marks that 70 years have passed since the so called 1948 “Nakba”, the catastrophe, when more than 750 000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes.

In light of this, IM continues to support our Palestinian partner Palestinian Medical Relief Society, PMRS, in their tireless work to provide essential health care services to victims. PMRS is present at the borders to assist injured through transporting them to medical points or to hospitals. Volunteers from PMRS working at the borders also provide life-saving first aid support to the injured.

Dr Aed Yaghi, PMRS Gaza director said in a statement sent to IM: “Gaza has been under siege for more than ten years, and humanitarian conditions have severely deteriorated. On Monday, people exercised their right to peaceful protests against injustice, refusing the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and demanding that they return to the lands they have been forcefully expelled from 70 years ago.

Dr. Yaghi called for an immediate end of Israeli brutality asking the international community to provide protection for innocent civilians and health teams, adding that Israeli leaders must be held accountable for crimes they are committing against Palestinians. He added that in order for peace to prevail, the occupation must end and the siege on Gaza must be lifted.

IM, in partnership with the AIDA network in Palestine, “calls on third states to condemn Israel’s unlawful killings and to step up their pressure on Israel to immediately halt its practice of using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, which runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law, and to lift its unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip. Echoing the words of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, AIDA urges third states to demand independent and credible investigations into the incidents, and for those responsible to be held to account.”  Full statement here.

Contact details:
• Secretary General, Ann Svensén, +46 70593 33 11, ann.svensen@manniskohjalp.se
• Regional Director Middle East, Jenny Oskarsson, +962 799 995208, jenny.oskarsson@manniskohjalp.se

Note: All figures from 20:30 pm, 15/5/2018