On Friday, March 30, 2018, marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day—when Israeli forces killed six Palestinians during protests against land confiscation in 1976—Palestinians in the Gaza Strip marched to the eastern border with Israel beginning a six-week protest—what they termed the Great March of Return. It was the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.1

Thousands of Palestinian civilians including women and children participated in the protest, mostly staying 500–700 m from the perimeter fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip in five places—eastern Jabalia, eastern Gaza, eastern Bureij, eastern Khanyounis, and eastern Rafah.2 The precise conduct of some participants in the march is disputed, but it is indisputable that the Israeli army responded with live ammunition from snipers, tank fire, plastic coated steel bullets, rubber bullets, and tear gas grenades launched from armoured military vehicles.3

I have reviewed the latest official statistics and reports from the Ministry of Health in Gaza,4 official reports from the WHO office in Gaza,5 the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR),6 and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)7 to collate this report on the number and type of injuries sustained by marchers. I have also followed up the patients who were admitted to hospitals by contacting hospital directors and the official spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) and comparing the numbers with official reports released by the Palestinian Health Information center at the MOH Gaza office. During our follow-up, we checked on the numbers of those patients who subsequently died, were kept in hospital, or who were discharged after hospital treatment. …..more

The Palestinian March: return to dialogue