Israeli occupation forces killed 58 Palestinians in Gaza on Monday as tens of thousands protested along the eastern perimeter of the territory.
Monday’s death toll is likely to climb higher as 70 were in critical condition and Gaza hospitals struggled to triage the staggering number of casualties.
The health ministry reported nearly 2,800 injuries – almost half of them by live fire.
Held on the eve of Nakba Day – when Palestinians commemorate the ethnic cleansing of their homeland before, during and after the establishment of the state of Israel in May 1948 – the demonstrations may have been the biggest protest ever held in the territory.
Monday marked the largest number of casualties in a single day in Gaza since Israel’s massive military assault that claimed more than 2,200 Palestinian lives in the summer of 2014, and was said to be the largest number of protester fatalities in a single day in the territory since the first intifada that began 30 years ago.
Protests are expected to continue on Tuesday.
Monday’s protests were held under the banner of the Great March of Return demonstrations, launched on 30 March, when Palestinians mark Land Day. The six-week protest was originally planned to culminate around Nakba Day.
Nearly 100 Palestinians, including 12 children, have been killed by Israeli forces during Great March of Return protests since 30 March.
While American officials and Israeli leaders celebrated the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem – in violation of international law – occupation army snipers gunned down children, paramedics and journalists and its air force hit multiple sites across Gaza on Monday.
Five boys and a girl were among those slain.
Additionally, the health ministry reported that an 8-month-old baby died as a result of gas inhalation.
The Palestinian human rights group Al Mezan reported that 42 of those killed were participating in peaceful protests when they were injured on Monday.
Paramedic Mousa Jaber Abu Hassanein was among those killed:
Fifteen Palestinians, including two children, were killed when Israeli forces fired artillery shells and opened fire at a crowd of civilians east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Al Mezan.
Israel claimed that its forces killed three militants attempting to place explosives near the Gaza-Israel boundary fence near the Rafah crossing with Egypt.
United Nations humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick stated that doctors at al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, “are overwhelmed, dealing with hundreds of cases of injured, including women and children. They are stretched to the limit and are running out of essential medical supplies.
He added that “Particularly worrying is that public hospitals in Gaza have less than a week of fuel reserves to continue their operations.”
On Monday morning the military dropped leaflets on Gaza warning Palestinians that they risked death by participating in the protests.
Al Mezan reported that the military had flattened sand dunes built up by demonstrators to provide cover from Israeli fire, “indicating an assumed intention on the part of the military to improve visibility for the purpose of targeting protesters.”
The rights group also reported that early Monday morning the military used drones to fire-bomb medical field tents. One day earlier Israel denied a team of doctors from the West Bank entry to Gaza.
Two-thirds of Gaza’s population of two million Palestinians are refugees from the lands on which the state of Israel was declared in 1948. Israel has long prevented Palestinian refugees from returning to their lands and homes because they are not Jewish.
المصدر : E Intifada