By Middle East Affairs
Ministry of Health spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qedra said that on May 11, two protesters were killed and 167 Palestinians had been injured including three children and two women. Seven were severely injured after being shot in the head.
The man killed was 40-year-old Jaber Salem Abu Mustafa, he was shot dead by a bullet to the chest in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza strip.
Three of the injured include journalists, Mohamme Al-talateni , Yasser Fathi Qudih, and Mahmoud Bassam Al-Jamal who were shot in the leg by a gas tear bomb.
Israeli forces have begun attacking journalists and medics east of Gaza with live ammunition in efforts to prevent them from witnessing the protest and treating the injured along the border.
This Friday marks the seventh week of protests in a string of protests nicknamed, “The Great March of Return” demonstrating the will of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their ancestral homes now located in Israel.
Hamas leader and prime minister Ismaild Haniyeh arrives at the protest at the East side of the Gaza-Israel border with a riveting speech to the protestors.
He said ” Today, we wrote a new history for our people and our nation and we crossed the siege.”
Heniyeh said that Palestinians will show Trump on May 14 and May 15, that Jerusalem has always been Islamic and Arabic and that moving his embassy to Jeresulam cannot change the city’s identity.
Trump and Netanyahu cannot change that, said Heniyeh, “The starving tiger was put under the siege for 11 years, and the man tried to kill it in four wars, but the tiger broke its cage.
The Hams leader assured the crowd, that the tiger went out, and he will never ever go back unless he breaks the siege and brings victory.
“We will change the nakba (occupation) that happened to Palestine to nakba will happen to Israel,” said Heniyeh.
At the beginning of the siege in 2005, the Al -Qassam rocket reached just three kilometers from the borders, and in 2014 it was capable of reaching Yaffa.
He concluded his speech by saying that now what the Palestinian residents have will bring the trust to our people and the horror to our enemy.
“Palestine from the sea to the river is for us, we will not recognize Israel,” he spoke the chant loudly to the people.
The protest comes three days before the momentous 70th anniversary of Israeli statehood and Palestine’s occupation. This year it also coincides with the much controversial opening of the United States new embassy in Jerusalem.
Since the protests began in March, 40 protesters have been killed and more than 1,700 violently wounded. Each week 30, 000 have routinely shown up to demonstrate, reports Reuters.
The United Nations has deplored Israel for its live fire and the Israeli Defence Force orders to shoot anyone that comes close to the border or tries to step foot in Israel, but Israel has maintained its stance that all those killed have been affiliated with Hamas.
In a report, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the loss of life “deplorable” and that a “staggering number of injuries” had been caused by live ammunition.
In the week’s past, the protests have centered around themes such as “Jumah al-Shabab al-Thaer” (“Friday of the Rebellious Youth”) as a slogan of the right of youth to return to their ancestral lands.
In the weeks of the protests, Palestinians have found barbed wire in Gaza placed overnight by Israeli forces trying to create an extra barrier between them and the border. They have also been blasted with tear gas from five different locations along the 40 km (25 miles) border. Resulting in countless injuries.
Since peace talks stalled a few years earlier, and Israel’s ever-growing relationship with the United States, Palestinians’ rage has grown as prospects for an independent state have weakened.
Israel maintains that its position has been to protect its sovereignty. A statement from the office of the IDF Spokesman’s read that, “We will not allow an attack on the infrastructures defending the fence.”
Haaretz reported that the political head of Hamas Yahya Sinwar participated in the protests.
Sinwar said, “We are continuing processions until the implementation of the right of return and breaking the siege and living with dignity.” He is expecting tens of thousands of Palestinians to attend the protests on May 15.
In Palestine, May 15 is also known as Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, synonymous with Israel’s founding in 1948.
Arab News reported Sinwar as saying that the protestors would be unarmed and peaceful but compared them to a starving tiger.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in speaking to protesters in Gaza said, “This march sends a message that the Palestinian people are united against the occupation and against the blockade and against the concessions and against the suspicious deals,”
Haniyeh said Palestinians will not compromise and there will be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until the entire land of Palestine is returned to them.