The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been raging since David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel in 1948 with violence and bloodshed on both sides. The latest instalment in this conflict has seen the Palestinian people of Gaza suffer a particularly cruel form of punishment in a long line of horrible abuses.
What has been considered a disproportionate response from the Israeli Defence Force towards Palestinian protesters has resulted in the most devastating wounds since the last major military offensive in 2014.
The Great March of Return began in March 2018 in Gaza and was a response by the Palestinian people to Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank, the refusal of Israel to allow the right of return of Palestinians in the wider Diaspora, the oppressive 14-year siege on the small Mediterranean enclave as well as the U.S decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The Great March of Return sees Gazans assemble at the border fence each Friday to protest in the hope that Israel and the world might hear their voices.
As tensions escalated, Israeli snipers used live ammunition and had killed hundreds of Palestinians by the end of 2018, prompting the UN to inquire as to whether Israel had committed war crimes. Mounting international pressure appeared to create a shift in the Israel open-fire policy as incidents of horrific leg wounds received by protesters rose dramatically. While the death toll may have slowed, this new policy is an especially cruel one. The wounds sustained by protesters are unusually horrific with extreme damage done to lower limbs creating massive exit wounds destroying bone, nerves, and vascular systems. An Al Jazeera article has quoted medics on the ground in Gaza that believe that the wounds are created by explosive ammunition, which is illegal to use on human targets under international humanitarian law.
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Gaza tripled their capacity in 2018 to care for thousands of people shot by the Israeli army during protests at the fence that separates Gaza from Israel. Providing plastic and orthopaedic surgery to close large wounds caused by live rounds and to begin the process of repairing loss of and damage to the bone, as well as providing dressings, physiotherapy, health education and psychosocial support.From March 30th until the end of November 2019, MSF admitted more than 4,830 people to their trauma clinics in the Gaza Strip.
About Darrian Traynor
Darrian Traynor is an Australian-based photojournalist covering breaking news, feature documentary work, sport, and major events.
He graduated Photography Studies College with an Advanced Diploma of Photography.
His editorial work is published in newspapers and magazines all around the world as well as online.
Traynor currently works as a stringer with Getty Images and Nine Media, including mastheads such as The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He also has a number of commercial clients, as well as working with NGOs to assist with the documenting o f their work.
His reportage work covers global humanitarian issues, and his current long-term project, Occupation Displacement, is an ongoing look at the issues surrounding refugees, particularly in the Middle East.
Get more stories like this delivered
free to your inbox. Sign up here.