Hosam Salem: Gaza: Refugees call for right of return in mass protests (AlJazeera)
Israeli forces have killed at least 15 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,000 others during a mass protest near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border.
Thousands attended Friday’s protest, dubbed the Great March of Return, which was organised by several Palestinian civil society organisations and backed by all of political factions.
The protest marked the 42nd anniversary of Land Day – on March 30, 1976, six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the Israeli government’s decision to expropriate massive tracts of Palestinian land.
Protesters said the main message of the march was to call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Edo Konrad: Videos show Israeli soldiers sniping unarmed protesters in Gaza (+972)
Attempts to retroactively portray Friday’s demonstrators as Hamas militants, stone-throwers, or human shields serves only one purpose: to quiet the Israeli conscience.
Hazem Balousha, Oliver Holmes: Palestinians hold day of mourning after 773 ‘shot with live ammunition’ (Guardian)
Gaza hospitals, running low on blood and overstretched by the huge number of wounded, were reeling after one of the enclave’s bloodiest days outside of open war, in which Israeli soldiers shot 773 people with live ammunition, according to the ministry of health.
Fifteen of the wounded died, said the ministry spokesperson Dr Ashraf al-Qidra. “Most of the dead were aged between 17 and 35 years old,” he said. “The injuries were on the upper part of the body.” He added that the remainder of the wounded, some of whom were in a critical condition, had been “shot with live ammunition”.
Robert Mackey: Israel Is Prepared to Kill More Unarmed Protesters in Gaza (Intercept)
Israel’s army expects up to 50,000 Palestinians to attend protests in Gaza on Friday, and is prepared to once again use deadly force against unarmed demonstrators, one week after Israeli snipers fired at least 650 bullets at Palestinian civilians, killing 15.
With President Donald Trump apparently ignoring last week’s massacre in a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, senior Israeli officials brushed off pleas from human rights groups to rescind orders that permit snipers to open fire on protesters who approach Israel’s perimeter fence.
“We have defined the rules of the game clearly and we do not intend to change them,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said as he toured the frontier on Tuesday. “Anyone trying to approach the fence is putting their lives at risk.” …
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, which monitors the treatment of Palestinians in the territories Israel’s military has controlled since 1967, published ads on Thursday urging soldiers to “refuse patently unlawful orders, to open fire on unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.”
“Approaching the Gaza perimeter fence is not an offense punishable by death or serious injury, to be executed immediately via shooting from a distance,” Hagai El-Ad, the rights group’s director, wrote.
Lana Habash: Why is Israel Shooting at Unarmed Protesters? (CounterPunch)
Why would Israel’s soldiers be instructed to shoot to kill teens running away from the fence, Palestinian journalists, farmers, and unarmed protesters? Surely one of the most militarized states in west Asia is not scared of a march? In fact they are. Colonial governments are at their weakest when they use naked violence against indigenous people.
Mehdi Hasan: Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Their Humanitarianism Is a Sham (Intercept)
“If the concept of intervention is driven by universal human rights, why is it — from the people who identify themselves as liberal interventionists — why do we never hear a peep, a word, about intervening to protect the Palestinians?”
That was the question I put to the French philosopher, author, and champion of liberal (or humanitarian) interventionism, Bernard-Henri Lévy, on my Al Jazeera English interview show “Head to Head” in 2013.
The usually silver-tongued Levy struggled to answer the question. The situation in Palestine is “not the same” as in Syria and “you have not all the good on one side and all the bad on the other side,” said Levy, who once remarked in reference to the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, that he had “never seen such a democratic army, which asks itself so many moral questions.”
I couldn’t help but be reminded of my exchange with the man known as “BHL” this past weekend, as I watched horrific images of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border being shot in the back by the “democratic army” of Israel. How many “moral questions” did those Israeli snipers ask themselves, I wondered, before they gunned down Gazan refugees for daring to demand a return to their homes inside the Green Line? …
Palestinians, it seems, have been so dehumanized that they don’t deserve a humanitarian intervention; their blood is cheap, their plight is unimportant, and, perhaps above all else, their killers are our friends.