PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/2018/Gaza - Lifelong impact of gunshot injuries
Since 30th March 2018, thousands of Gazans have been staging weekly protests known as the “Great March of Return” near the fence separating Gaza from Israel, in order to reclaim the land they lost in 1948. The Israeli forces have responded to the demonstrations with extreme violence, firing live ammunition on the protesters. This has resulted in the deadliest period of the Israeli Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War. While the extent of the violence and number of weekly incidents had somewhat decreased over the summer, it started to increase once more in September: the violence continues and the cohort of wounded patients gets larger every week. Most of these patients (approximately 90%) were shot in the lower limbs and their injuries are quite devastating: many of them suffer from bone gaps, complex fractures and nerve, vascular and/or extensive soft tissue damage. Such injuries are very complex in terms of treatment: they often require multiple surgical interventions, long-term physiotherapy and advanced post-operative care – all of which is not readily available in Gaza and would take a very long time and massive financial resources to set up.
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