Gaza protests met with sniper fire

On Saturday, in a demonstration marking the 52nd anniversary of the arson attack of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip were attacked by an Israeli offensive of live ammunition sniper fire, tear gas canisters, and rubber coated steel bullets (2). More than 40 Palestinians were injured during the protest, including more than 24 children (1). The march was also dedicated to protesting Israel’s continued siege of Gaza and the violent onslaught thrown at Palestinians on a consistent basis. Israel’s typical response of aggression proved their willingness to stifle an oppressed people’s right to resist.

Video footage from local Palestinian channels revealed evidence of an Israeli sniper aiming and shooting at the protesters through a small hole in the wall surrounding the Gaza Strip. Palestinian protesters are shown hitting the gun through the opening to divert the bullets away from the demonstration. One man was seen walking up to the wall and shooting at the sniper with a handgun, injuring the border policeman (3). The Israeli Occupation Force announced the soldier was in critical condition in the hospital following the incident, and responded to the attack with a series of airstrikes throughout the strip (4). An increased number of armed forces were also employed near the separation wall, further tightening the siege on Gaza (1).

Following the violent Israeli offensive campaign earlier this summer, the infrastructure of Gaza has not been able to recover. More than 250,000 people have not been able to repair their homes and businesses that were damaged in the bombing, due to Israeli restrictions on the entry of building materials into the strip (5). Every sector of Palestinian life is affected by this siege, as food shortages, educational limitations, and building restrictions ravage the strip at a continuous pace, with the occasional addition of bombing and airstrikes to Gazans’ woes. The Palestinian citizens of Gaza are afforded the international right to resist their occupation, their economical and social condition, and their targeting with weaponry during peaceful protests. Their continued rise after decades of degradation should not be punished with further destruction. The occupation on Gaza is destructive in every way imaginable, and it should be ceased immediately.