Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Day of the Palestinian Wounded, an occasion that serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing human rights violations inflicted by the Israeli occupation. On this day, Palestinians across the world come together to commemorate the struggles and sacrifices of those who have suffered at the hands of the Israeli occupation.
Today marks a special day of reflection and remembrance across the homeland and diaspora. To honor the wounded and recognize their sacrifices and suffering, official and popular national events have been organized.
On 13th March 1968, the late President Yasser Arafat issued a presidential decree, declaring that the thirteenth of March of each year should be a day for the wounded Palestinians – a day to honour those who have been injured in the pursuit of Palestinian rights.
The “Foundation for the Care of the Families of Martyrs and the Wounded“ was established in 1965 as part of a presidential decree, recognizing the heroic sacrifices of the Palestinian revolution. The Foundation serves to provide care for the families of martyrs and follow up on the affairs of the wounded.
Those who are wounded stand as a grim reminder of the devastating effects of the occupation and the violation of international laws and regulations by Israeli forces. Excessive force and weapons banned by international law have been used to oppress Palestinians in multiple confrontations, leaving hundreds of thousands wounded in its wake.
Despite the odds, some of the wounded Palestinians were brave enough to rise up and continue fighting even after sustaining multiple injuries. They endured unbearable pain to become martyrs and prove their loyalty to their country.
Amidst the injustice of Israeli occupation, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers suffer from the devastating impacts of bullets that have penetrated their bodies. These wounds are a direct result of the policy of deliberate medical negligence pursued by the Israeli Prison Service.
As can be seen in the statistics, a high number of injuries were reported in some of the most high–profile events in recent history:
The first intifada, which began in 1987 and ended in 1993, saw the wounding of an estimated 130,000 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The Intifada, which often involved the throwing of stones by demonstrators, had a massive impact on Palestinian society.
The bloody uprising in the tunnel that lasted three days in September 1996 resulted in approximately 1600 wounded. However, the second intifada, known as Intifada Al–Aqsa, was much more devastating. From September 29, 2000 to December 31, 2008, the casualty count swelled to a staggering 35,099 wounded.
Amidst Israel‘s 2008 aggression against the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that a staggering 5450 Palestinians were wounded.
In the Israeli aggression of 2012, a staggering 1526 were wounded, with the number of casualties rising to an alarming 11 thousand in 2014.
In May 2021, the most recent bout of violence left over 1,500 Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem with injuries, a stark reminder of the tensions that continue to plague the region.
The year 2017 saw a dramatic surge in the number of wounded Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. 8,300 people were injured, with 6,200 of those injuries occurring in the wake of US President Trump‘s announcement to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem in December.
Since the start of the return marches on “Land Day“ in March of 2018, the Gaza Strip has seen a staggering 9,520 injured people in the five months that followed. This tragic number continues to grow with no end in sight.
The “Battle of the Sword of Jerusalem“ has been a devastating event of 2021, with over 1900 wounded reported in its aftermath.
The past year of 2022 has seen a staggering 10,000 Palestinians suffer wounds inflicted by the Israeli occupation, a figure that is a stark reminder of the ongoing crisis in the region.