Deadliest day in Gaza since 2014: at least 58 Palestinians killed and 2,771 injured

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is greatly saddened by the high loss of life and further mass casualties in Gaza yesterday.

Yesterday was the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014. According to the Ministry of Health, 58 Palestinians were killed, including six children and one health worker, and 2,771 injured after the use of live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas by Israeli forces targeting demonstrators. Of those hospitalised, 1359 suffered gunshot wounds. A further three fatalities were subsequently reported.

Since the Great March of Return protests began on 30 March, at least 97 Palestinian protesters, including 12 children, have been killed by Israeli forces and more than 12,271 injured. 6,760 Palestinians have been hospitalised, including 3,598 (53 %) by live ammunition. More Palestinians have been injured in these protests (12,271) than during Israel’s 51-day military offensive on Gaza in 2014 (11,231).

MAP is responding directly to help local teams treat the injured through the provision of essential medical supplies including medicines, disposables and equipment for orthopaedic surgery. We are also supporting two UK-based medics, orthopaedic surgeon Graeme Groom and consultant plastic surgeon Tom Potokar, who are in Gaza working alongside local teams to treat the large number of complex limb injuries as a result of the use of live fire.

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Yesterday medics in Gaza reported more abdominal, chest and head wounds than in previous weeks.

Our team reported that critical cases had to wait for surgeries because operating theatres were full and medical teams were running out of essential supplies including gauze, skin staples, abdominal sponges, vascular sutures and disposable gowns and drapes.

At Gaza’s main hospital, Al Shifa, the MAP team reported that the health system is near breaking point after receiving so many devastating and disabling injuries. At a press conference at the hospital last night, the Ministry of Health called for international support to prevent the complete collapse of the healthcare system in Gaza. It also called on Egypt to open Rafah border to allow injured demonstrators to be transferred outside Gaza for treatment due to the severe shortage of medicals supplies.

MAP repeats its call to the UK Government and the international community to:

  • Support and actively work toward credible, independent investigation into Israel’s use of force against protesters in Gaza and ensure that suspected wrongdoers are held to account;
  • Provide immediate support to Gaza’s health system, which is fast running out of supplies to treat the wounded;
  • Demand an end to Israel’s 11-year closure and blockade of Gaza; and
  • Make a public statement which re-iterates the relevant international law with regards to the situation in Gaza

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