Jerusalem, Apr 9, 2018 / 13:55 pm
At least eight Palestinians were killed and hundreds more injured by Israeli military forces last week, during the second week of protests on the Gaza-Israel border.
“The loss of Palestinian lives here is tragic,” said Robert Nicholson, founder and executive director of the Philos Project, an organization dedicated to promoting positive Christian engagement in the Middle East.
“It’s also needless. This is not the way to help a broken nation,” Nicholson told CNA.
Among those killed are a 16-year old boy and a journalist who worked for Ain Media, a Gaza-based agency.
The protests, which drew thousands on Friday across a 40-mile stretch along the Israel-Gaza border, demanded that Palestinians be allowed to go back to homes within Israel from which they or their families have been displaced.
Similar protests over the past month have left estimated 30 people dead, and more than 1,000 people have been wounded, according to Palestinian reports. Israeli officials have questioned the reported number of injuries.
The protests are part of a six-week campaign, known by some as the “Great March of Return,” organized mostly by Hamas, an Islamic militant group, which claims to be advocating for the peaceful return of Palestinians to their homelands.
Unemployment nears 50 percent, and electricity and potable water are in limited supply in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas and has been the subject of a blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007.