Since March 2018, thousands of Palestinians have set up tents made of canvas, nylon, plastic, and blankets along Khuza’a’s eastern edge and military buffer zone. The encampment is situated 400–600 meters from the fence. Every Friday, Gazan families, including women, children, and the elderly, head to the tent city to protest the siege. The encampment has field clinics, food vendors and public activities such as clown shows, poetry readings, live music shows and soccer matches, communal gatherings, and meals.

Although the protests are mostly peaceful, B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, reports in an April 2018 article, “some of the demonstrators went near the fence and threw stones at soldiers stationed on or near dirt mounds on the other side of it. The soldiers fired live rounds, rubber coated metal bullets, and tear gas canisters at them. According to the military, some demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and explosives and tried to sabotage the fence.” The Palestinian Ministry of Health records that more than 1,800 Palestinians were injured by tear gas.

This use of crowd dispersal measures is unlawful and unjustified,” the article goes on. “Israel has no right to disperse demonstrations inside the Gaza Strip or to direct Gazans as to where they may and may not congregate. It is most certainly prohibited from firing teargas at demonstrators located hundreds of meters away from the border, minding their own business and posing no threat to anyone.

Source: B’tselem

Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory, 2021