Update: Palestinians killed in Gaza at protests and during air strikes

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) remains deeply concerned about the serious risk to the life and welfare of Palestinians amid the worsening security situation in Gaza.

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On Friday 13 July, two Palestinians were killed, including a 15-year-old child, Othman Hellas, and 399 injured at the ongoing “Great March of Return” demonstrations at the perimeter fence, as a result of the use of live fire and tear gas by Israeli forces.

The following day, two children were killed and 25 injured during an Israeli air strike at Al-Kateeba in west Gaza amid what has been described as “the largest wave of airstrikes on Gaza” since Israel’s 2014 military offensive. Rockets were also fired by militant groups in Gaza towards Israel, injuring at least three Israelis.

Following the weekend’s events, the UN expressed grave concern about deterioration of the security situation in Gaza. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, warned: “Yesterday we were on the brink of war. And it is taken the concerted efforts of everyone to make sure that we step back from confrontation.”

Israeli authorities have since, imposed new restrictions at Gaza’s only commercial crossing, Kerem Shalom, prohibiting the entry of all goods – including fuel and cooking gas – except medical and food supplies, and banning the exit of all goods. According to the Israeli authorities, the measures were adopted in response to the launching of incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza towards Israel.

Jamie McGoldrick, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), has called for urgent measures to prevent further deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Gaza:

As events over the weekend demonstrate, the situation in Gaza is extremely precarious. I am deeply concerned about the imposition of further restrictions at Kerem Shalom, which is the lifeline for Gaza’s population. Should they continue, these additional restrictions risk triggering a dramatic deterioration in an already fragile situation and desperate humanitarian conditions, particularly for the health sector.”

Of particular concern to MAP is the impact that shortfalls in fuel will have on vital health services in Gaza. With electricity cuts up to 20 hours per day, health facilities depend on emergency fuel to power back-up generators to deliver essential services. According to UN OCHA, health facilities in Gaza are down to less than seven days of emergency fuel supplies.

We are steps away from a disastrous deterioration, with potential broad impacts not only on Palestinians in Gaza, but the region,” said Jamie McGoldrick. “Everyone with the ability to improve the situation must take a step back, prevent further escalation and reduce the suffering of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza.”

More than 140 Palestinians have been killed and over 16,000 injured by Israeli forces since the “Great March of Return” demonstrations at the Gaza perimeter fence began on 30 March. MAP has been directly responding and helping local teams treat the injured through the provision of essential medical supplies including medicines, disposables and equipment for orthopaedic surgery. We have also supported orthopaedic surgeons and a plastic surgeon to work alongside local teams to treat the large number of complex limb injuries as a result of the use of live fire.

Donate now to help support MAP’s emergency response