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- 30 March 2018 saw the beginning of the annual ‘Land Day’ march during which Palestinians call for their right to return. The ‘Land Day’ march will last until mid-May, when Palestinians commemorate what they refer to as the “nakba” (“catastrophe”), symbolizing the forced displacement of some 750 000 Palestinians during the 1948 war.
- Estimates suggest that more than 30 000 people attended the march in Gaza, most of which gathered along the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. The first day of the march was marred in violence and resulted in the death of 17 people and more than 1 400 injured. It is reported by local authorities that 758 people were injured by live ammunition (20 of whom are in a critical condition), 148 by rubber-coated bullets and 422 by teargas. No casualties were reported on Israeli side.
- Gaza hospitals, already operating at limited capacity as a result of the ongoing electricity crisis and a lack of supply of essential drugs and medical disposables, were struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of casualties. The medical system has become extremely stretched and capacities have further weakened as a result of the clashes. The World Health Organisation launched a donor alert and an appeal for the provision of basic medical supplies, blood banks and medical disposables.
- On 31 March, the situation remained fairly calm with some minor clashes resulting in 15 Palestinians injured by live ammunition. Three mortar shells were reportedly fired from Gaza towards Israel but landed inside Gaza. Israeli forces responded by firing five shells towards the east of the Al Buraij refugee camp. No injuries were reported.
- The situation is monitored by various humanitarian agencies on the ground, including the sectoral clusters and OCHA.