Israeli Bullets Cause Wounds not Seen since 2014 Attack on Gaza

Aid groups repeatedly use the same word "destruction" to describe the wounds caused by Israelis' bullet.

The live-fire wounds suffered by more than 1,700 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the past month have been unusually severe, Palestinian and foreign doctors confirm.

Since the series of peaceful demonstrations known as the March of Return began on March 30, Israeli soldiers have killed 37 Palestinians and wounded about 5,000, of whom 36 percent were wounded by live bullets.

Doctors at Gaza's Shifa Hospital said they haven't seen such severe wounds since Israel's attack in 2014. The aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres also said its medical teams have given postoperative care to people "with devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat. The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities."

The London-based group Medical Aid for Palestinians also quoted a Shifa surgeon as saying, "The bullets used are causing injuries local medics say they have not seen since 2014. The entrance wound is small. The exit wound is devastating, causing gross comminution of bone and destruction of soft tissue."

The group's April 20 report also said that Gaza surgeons had performed 17 amputations - 13 legs and four arms. In addition, a boy shot by Israeli soldiers on April 17 had his left leg amputated in Ramallah. His parents said he was playing soccer near the Israel-Gaza border fence east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp.

The World Health Organization says the lack of medication and nonreusable medical supplies like bandages is undermining the ability to give patients proper care. The Palestinian Health Ministry urgently needs stocks of 75 essential drugs and 190 types of nonreusable medical supplies.

The WHO also criticized Israel for harming medical personnel, saying 48 medical staffers have been wounded by Israeli fire while trying to evacuate the wounded. At least three were hit live bullets. In addition, 13 ambulances were hit by live bullets or tear gas grenades.

Between March 30 and Thursday, 1,539 Gazans were wounded by live bullets and around 500 by sponge-tipped bullets, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Of the victims, 62.3 percent were hit in the lower body, 16 percent in the upper body, 8.2 percent in the head or neck, 4.8 percent in the stomach and four percent in the chest. In addition, 4.7 percent had multiple injuries.

 

On Friday, the ministry said 729 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli bullets or riot-control equipment, of whom 305 required hospital treatment. Of the latter, 156 were hit by live bullets.

Fifteen of the 305 hospitalized patients were women, it added, while 45 were children. Altogether, 500 minors have been wounded by Israeli fire since March 30.

 

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