Israelis Shoot, Kill Young Female Medic; US Vows to Veto UN Call to Protect Palestinians
June 2, 2018
Agence France-Presse & Reuters & The Jerusalem Post & AntiWar.com
Two months of violent Israeli crackdowns on public protests along the border. 115 Palestinians were killed in these protests, and over 13,000 wounded. This includes an estimated 3,600 Palestinians hit with live ammunition. The International Committee of the Red Cross is sending two teams of war surgeons to Gaza and setting up a surgical unit to treat the many victims.
Palestinian Woman Killed by
Israeli Fire on Gaza Border: Ministry
Palestinian protesters flee tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers along the border with Israel near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip (AFP Photo)
(June 1, 2018) -- Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) -- A young Palestinian woman was shot dead by Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border fence on Friday, in another day of protests and violence, Palestinian medical sources said.
Razan al-Najjar, 21, was shot near Khan Yunis in the south of the territory, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, bringing the toll of Gazans killed by Israeli fire since the end of March to 123. According to Qudra, Najjar was a volunteer with the ministry, wearing the white uniform of a medic when she was shot in the chest.
An army spokesman said they were looking into the report. But the military said in a statement that "thousands of rioters" had gathered at five locations along the border, "burning tires adjacent to the security fence and attempting to damage security infrastructure".
Shots were fired at an army vehicle and a Palestinian had crossed into Israel, planted a grenade and returned to Gaza, it said, stressing soldiers were acting "in accordance with the rules of engagement".
An exchange of fire on Tuesday night started with a barrage of rocket and mortars into Israel from Gaza, prompting Israel to respond with strikes on 65 militant sites in Gaza.
It was the worst flare-up since the 2014 war in Gaza and followed weeks of deadly demonstrations and clashes along the border, beginning on March 30.
The protests have demanded that Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation be allowed to return to their former homes, now inside the Jewish state.
They peaked on May 14 when at least 61 Palestinians were killed in clashes as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the US transfer of its embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem the same day. Low-level demonstrations have continued since.
Red Cross Sends War Surgeons,
Supplies to 'Sinking Ship' Gaza
The ICRC will set up a 50-bed
surgical unit at Gaza's al-Shifa hospital.
Reuters & The Jerusalem Post
GENEVA (May 31, 2018) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross is sending two teams of war surgeons to Gaza and setting up a surgical unit in the enclave's main hospital to treat heavy casualties from clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.
Since protests on the Gaza-Israel border began on March 30, Israeli troops have killed 115 Palestinians and wounded more than 13,000 people, including 3,600 by live ammunition, Robert Mardini, ICRC's director for the Near and Middle East, said. This week also saw the most intense flare-up of hostilities between Palestinian militants and Israel since the 2014 Gaza war.
"The recent demonstrations and violence that took place along the Gaza border since the end of March have triggered a health crisis of unprecedented magnitude in this part of the world," Mardini told a news conference in Geneva.
The ICRC will set up a 50-bed surgical unit at al-Shifa hospital, Gaza's largest.
"Our priority now clearly is to help gunshot wound victims. Imagine, 1,350 people with complex cases who will need three to five operations each, a total of 4,000 surgeries, half of which will be carried out by ICRC teams," he said. "I think such a caseload would overwhelm the hospital in Geneva."
The six-month surge of medical expertise, drugs and equipment will speed the long road to recovery and relieve an overwhelmed health care system, he said.
"The last eight weeks definitely the first priority has been to save lives and save limbs. Post-operative needs today are massive in Gaza," Dr. Gabriel Salazar Arbelaez, ICRC health coordinator in Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, told reporters via Skype.
Guislain Defurne, head of the ICRC's sub-delegation in Gaza, said many people will end up permanently disabled.
Mardini also said the economy of Gaza, which is blockaded by Israel and its other neighbor Egypt, was "suffocating," with high unemployment, electricity limited to four hours a day, and untreated sewage flowing into the sea. "Gaza is a sinking ship," he said.
US Will 'Unquestionably Veto' UN Draft on Protecting Palestinians
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 31, 2018) – US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has vowed to "unquestionably veto" a UN draft resolution calling for an international mission to protect Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. There is speculation the resolution, sponsored by Kuwait, could be up for vote Friday.
In the past two months, Israel has violently cracked down on public protests by Palestinians along the Gaza border, killing at least 122 and wounding over 13,000 others. The US already blocked an initial effort calling for a UN force in Gaza.
This watered-down version calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres to consider possible measures to guarantee the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians. Haley says the resolution is a threat to the peace process.
Haley further said the resolution was "morally bankrupt" and "grossly one-sided" in only criticizing the Israelis for killing so many protesters and not condemning the "provocative" protests themselves.
The US had already offered a competing resolution insisting all the people Israel killed were the fault of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This resolution was blocked by Kuwait, and is unlikely to ever get enough support to come to a vote.
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