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Adalah: 2 injured Palestinians stuck along Gaza border, medics unable to reach them

March 31, 2018 1:15 P.M. (Updated: April 2, 2018 2:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, released a statement on Saturday urging the Israeli government to allow for the safe evacuation of two Palestinians who are still lying injured, or dead, along the Gaza border, with no one able to reach them without the risk of coming under Israeli army fire.

Adalah, along with the Gaza based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, sent an urgent letter to senior Israeli officials on Saturday, the day after Israeli forces killed 16 Palestinians in Gaza.

In the letter, the groups demanded that Israel “immediately allow Gaza search and rescue teams to enter the area near the border fence to evacuate two wounded or dead Palestinian men,” adding that the conditions of the men remained unknown.

Adalah identified the two men as Muhammed Mhareb al-Arabiyeh and Musab Zuheir Anis al-Saloul.

The statement said the two are located in the Jahr Al-Dik area inside Wadi Gaza – inside the Gaza Strip – some 150 meters from the border fence, adding that the Israeli military uses live fire to prevent Palestinians from entering this self-declared “buffer zone” that extends 300 meters into Gaza.

By Friday evening, 16 Palestinians had been declared dead in Gaza as a result of Israeli fire. Fifteen of the dead were killed during massive demonstrations on the border with Israel, and one, a farmer, was killed before dawn on Friday while on his land near the border fence.

Videos from the march, which was organized as a peaceful protest by activists and grassroots organizations in Gaza and later supported by local Hamas officials, show civilians being shot down by Israeli snipers who were stationed tens of meters away from the protesters, on the other side of a highly militarized fence.

Leading up to the march, the Israeli army released a statement saying it had declared the border area along Gaza a “closed military zone,” meaning that any Palestinian who got close to the border fence could risk getting shot.

The Israeli army released statements on Twitter describing the protests as “violent riots.”

Despite the Israeli army’s claims, Palestinian activists and leaders in the Gaza Strip have maintained that the “March of Return” was organized as a massive non-violent, weeks-long protest advocating for the return of Palestinian refugees to their original homelands in historic Palestine, now present day Israel.

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