Gaza protests: All the latest updates
Palestinians mark 70 years since the ethnic cleansing of their homeland during the creation of Israel.
For more than two months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting along the fence with Israel demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 year ago.
The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or “catastrophe” – a reference to Israel’s establishment in 1948 and when 750,000 Arabs were removed from Palestine.
The mass Friday demonstrations have since continued.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 121 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 12,000 people.
Latest updates as of Friday, June 1
Palestinian paramedic killed
Razan al-Najjar was killed by Israeli live fire during the protests east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, according to Palestinian health officials.
The 21-year-old volunteer paramedic died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the Palestinian health ministry said.
A witness said she was shot while running towards the fortified fence to help a casualty.
Wearing a white uniform, “she raised her hands high in a clear way, but Israeli soldiers fired and she was hit in the chest”, the witness told Reuters news agency.
Palestinian medical sources say more than 100 other protesters were wounded, 40 of them with live fire.
Read more about the struggle of medical workers to provide healthcare amid shootings by Israeli forces here.
|Razan al-Najjar (R) reacting to tear gas during an April 1 rally in the southern Gaza Strip [File: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]|
Protesters met with live fire, tear gas
Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from the rally in Gaza, said the demonstrations “showed no signs of ending”.
“These protesters have once again been met with live fire from Israeli forces and repeated, very heavy use of tear gas as well,” he said.
“The question now is how long this is sustainable. It is still seen by many Palestinians here in Gaza as a way of venting their continued desperation with the worsening humanitarian situation.
“The real question though is when the political decision from Hamas will come to end these protests, if it does,” added Fawcett.
“A senior adviser to the Hamas leadership told Al Jazeera that it is a question of Israel lifting the siege and the blockade. At that point, this strategy of peaceful protests could perhaps change.”
US vows to veto UN resolution for protection of Palestinians
The US will “unquestionably veto” a UN draft resolution which calls for “the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection” of Palestinian civilians.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley called the Kuwait-sponsored resolution “grossly one-sided” and “morally bankrupt”.
“The resolution calls on Israel to immediately cease its actions in self-defense, but makes no mention of Hamas’ aggressive actions against Israeli security forces and civilians,” she said in a statement.
The draft resolution “deplores” and calls for a halt to “the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” by the Israeli military. It also “deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilian areas”.
It asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a report on a potential “international protection mechanism”.
A vote on the draft resolution is expected to take place on Friday.