The Great March of Return began in March 2018 in Gaza and was a response by the Palestinian people to Israels illegal settlements in the West Bank, the refusal of Israel to allow the right of return of Palestinians in the wider Diaspora, the oppressive 14 year long siege on the small Mediterranean enclave as well as the U.S decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The Great March of Return sees Gazans assemble at the border fence each Friday to protest in the hope that Israel and the world might hear their voices.
As tensions escalated, Israeli snipers used live ammunition and had killed hundreds of Palestinians by the end of 2018, prompting the UN to inquire as to whether Israel had committed war crimes. Mounting international pressure appeared to create a shift in the Israel open fire policy as incidents of horrific leg wounds received by protesters rose dramatically. While the death toll may have slowed, this new policy is an especially cruel one. The wounds sustained by protesters are unusually horrific with extreme damage done to lower limbs creating massive exit wounds destroying bone, nerves and vascular systems. An Al Jazeera article has quoted medics on the ground in Gaza that believe that the wounds are created by explosive ammunition, which is illegal to use on human targets under international humanitarian law.
This series looks at the long road of recovery faced by young Palestinian men.