Four Palestinians, including a child, were killed on Friday by Israeli forces at the borderline between Gaza and Israel during the fourth Friday demonstration, dubbed the Friday of Martyrs and Prisoners, as part of the Great March of Return. This raised the number of Palestinian deaths during the protests to 35.
About 454 protestors were wounded during the demonstration, according to health authorities in Gaza.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov criticised the Israeli violence against protesters and killing children. Mladenov tweeted, “it is outrageous to shoot at children! How does the killing of a child in Gaza today help peace? It doesn’t! It fuels anger and breeds more killing.”
He added that children “must be protected from violence, not exposed to it, not killed!” He added, “this tragic incident must be investigated.”
The demonstrations started in the Gaza Strip at the end of March, commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Land Day dubbed the Great March of Return. In response, Israeli forces fired live ammunition and used tear gas against protesters.
Moreover, the Palestinian Delegate to the United Nations Riyad Mansour requested the Security Council form a committee to investigate the “crimes of the occupation.” He added that his state will file a complaint to the UN Human Rights Council regarding the Israeli violence against unarmed Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “review his army’s policy on mass protests and the press, and to ensure that the shooting of journalists covering demonstrations in the Gaza Strip is quickly and thoroughly investigated.”
In a letter to Netanyahu on Thursday, the organisation pointed out to the killing of Yaser Murtaja, a photojournalist and camera operator for the Gaza-based media production company Ain Media, who died on 7 April of injuries sustained the previous day while covering protests in the area east of Khan Younis.
“He was wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet that were clearly marked with the word ‘PRESS’ and was hundreds of feet away from the border fence when he was hit,” according to the letter.
Meanwhile, American-Israeli actress Natalie Portman rejected the prize known as the “Jewish Nobel”, saying she does not want her presence to be considered as support for Netanyahu, who is expected to give a speech at the ceremony, after Israel was criticised for shooting at Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip.