Palestinian teenager dies after Israeli attack on peaceful Gaza protests

Palestinian teenager dies after Israeli attack on peaceful Gaza protests
A Palestinian teenager in Gaza died after he was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers whilst peacefully protesting.
2 min read
03 May, 2018
Anas Shawky Abu Asr succumbed to his wounds [Facebook]

A 19-year-old Palestinian teenager has died of wounds sustained after Israeli soldiers shot him during the Great Return March, according to Palestine’s health ministry in Gaza.

Anas Shawky Abu Asr was wounded by Israeli bullets near Gaza City last Friday during the peaceful  protests. The ministry said he died on Thursday without elaborating.

Last week 15-year-old Azzam Oweida also died after he was hit in the head when peacefully protesting in southern Gaza.

The past few weeks have seen tensions rise between the besieged Gaza and Israel.

Mass protests erupted on 30 March - dubbed "Great Return March" - which have centred on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, after they were expelled following the 1948 creation of Israel.

Israel says the right of return would mean the end of the Jewish state, and accuses the Palestinian party Hamas of using the protests as a pretext for violence.

The protests along the Gaza border quickly turned deadly after Israeli forces began responding with live ammunition. Thousands of protesters have been wounded by gunfire or needed treatment for tear gas inhalation in the weeks of protests.

No Israelis have been reported hurt.

Israel has defended its disproportionate use of violence against peaceful protesters involved in the the Great Return March demonstrations after facing a legal challenge from international rights groups, suggesting human rights laws do not apply to what it described as "acts of war”.

Israel’s remarks came in response to several High Court petitions put forward by human rights groups demanding the end to the use of live ammunition against peaceful protestors, which have seen 48 Palestinians killed and thousands injured over five weeks of demonstrations.

Tel Aviv claimed the unarmed protests were a "state of war", and rules of engagement were applied that were consistent with Israeli and international law for such a circumstance.

The state said it was "opposed to applying human rights laws during an armed conflict," and that the Red Cross recognises that Israel is not committed to replacing them [laws] during armed confrontations."

Amnesty International has called on governments to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following its disproportionate response to the demonstrations which it calls "a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians as its armed forces continue to kill and maim demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them".

Click here to view an updated list of the Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza since Friday March 30.