14th April 2010
Mahmoud Shawa a 19 year old resident of Shaja’iyya district of Gaza City, received a wound from a live round in his leg while participating in a peaceful demonstration near Nahal Oz border crossing. Mahmoud was urgently transported by an ambulance to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City bleeding heavily and suffering from shock.The bullet entered at the back of the knee area and exited at the other side and the x-ray shows that it nearly missed the bone.
The demonstration was a part of regular weekly protests against the 300 metre buffer zone imposed by Israel as a no-go area for Palestinians, where live fire is frequently used against the ‘trespassers’. A group of over one hundred local residents and activists from different civil society organizations and political parties started marching towards the border at 11.30. They came under the extensive live fire almost from the start which came from about 20 Israeli soldiers and at least 5 army vehicles which were visible at the other side of the border wire.
The majority of demonstrators marched to about 400 metres away from the border line and a group of about 30 including Mahmoud, went further waving Palestinian flags. Mahmoud was wounded on the spot about 150 meters from the border wire. The opposition to the buffer zone has been on the increase in the recent months mobilizing with burgeoning numbers of participants. The protests now take place almost daily in different locations alongside the border. Unfortunately firing at peaceful demonstrators have also become more frequent with 4 demonstrators receiving bullet wounds in the recent Land Day demonstrations in Abbassin and Magazi areas.