The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says more than 250 Palestinians have been killed and over 23,000 injured by Israeli forces since the Great March of Return rallies began along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied territories on March 30, 2018.
The UN body said in a report published on Monday that at least 254 Palestinians had been killed in the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave between March 30 and December 31. Among those killed were 44 children and four women.
“Since March 30, 2018, the Gaza Strip has witnessed a significant increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of mass demonstrations and other activities along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza, taking place as part of the Great Return March, as well as during hostilities and access related incidents,” the report said.
In addition, 23,603 Palestinians were injured in the same period, including 5183 boys, 464 girls and 1437 women, almost all of them during the March of Return protests.
The report raised concerns about Israel's "excessive use of force" against peaceful Palestinian protesters participating in the anti-occupation rallies.