Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israel Defence Forces as protests continue

Abdelraouf Salhah, a 14-year-old Palestinian protester has died after being shot in the head by Israeli forces, according to Gaza’s health ministry. 

Abdelraouf Salhah, who is now the third Palestinian to be pronounced dead since Friday’s protest, lost his life from gun shot wounds by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) during protests along the Gaza/Israeli border. His death reflects the growing tensions surrounding the fight for legitimacy between Israel and Palestine.

Since March 2018, there has been increased efforts by the Palestinian population to protest openly against the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel. The protests have been hugely encouraged by Hamas, an organisation listed by the European Courts as a terrorist organisation; although they hold de facto governing power over Gaza. 

These efforts have been labelled by the protesters as the “March of return”, originally triggered by the plans of the Trump administration to move the US embassy from Israel into Jerusalem. This was a controversial and politically de-stabilising move, due to the high value of Jerusalem to Palestinians and Israelis, with both states claiming Gaza as their capital.

The death of 14 year old (left), came after protests had become progressively more violent since their initiation in March 2018. This is as a result of the Israeli Defence Force, becoming increasingly more concerned at the proximity of the protest to their borders and crossings, despite the casualties and deaths being overwhelmingly Palestinian – with over 200 Palestinian deaths since the start.

This has encouraged the further use of force by both sides; particularly with rockets being fired across the border into Israel, according to The Times of Israel. The rising death toll adds fuel to the fire, with many Palestinian protestors adamant that the lives of their fellow protesters cannot be taken in vain.

With tensions at the highest seen since the clash in 2014, many people believe the only stop to the deaths of protesters can be achieved by humanitarian intervention or international diplomacy from surrounding powers such as Egypt. 

Catherine Sirotkin
Catherine is an undergraduate student studying Political Science With Sociology at the University of Birmingham. She specialises in Middle Eastern conflicts and has an avid interest in international relations, development economics, as well as minority empowerment in the UK. Catherine is also a keen reader, podcast-listener and believer in God. In addition to politics, she is also a huge food lover, especially in terms of her sweet tooth.

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