Media Release: Israeli forces must cease violence against Palestinian protestors, amidst rising death toll

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) is very disturbed by the news that at least 15 Palestinians have been killed, including children, and more than 1000 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Video footage and news reports coming out of Gaza overnight show Israeli forces shooting at unarmed protestors from across the Gaza security fence.

“Such disproportionate violence is a flagrant violation of international law,” said Bassam Dally, APAN spokesperson.”Using live ammunition, tear gas and tanks to shell protestors is unacceptable, and Israeli authorities must cease such use of excessive force immediately.”

The protests, which attracted more than 30,000 people, were organised as part of  “The Great March of Return”, an explicitly nonviolent gathering of Palestinian refugees who demand their right to return to their families’ homes inside what is now Israel. Taking place along the border of Gaza from Land Day on March 30 until Nakba Day on May 15, the march is part of a long history of Palestinian mass popular resistance to Israeli aggression.

APAN calls on the Australian government and the international community to condemn Israel’s actions, and to continue to monitor closely the situation on the ground to ensure the rights of Palestinians are safeguarded and no further lives are lost.