Braving Israel’s bullets one year on | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Braving Israel’s bullets one year on

Atia Younis has been a regular participant in Gaza’s Great March of Return since it began on 30 March last year.

He has attended all but one of the protests held each Friday. The sole time Younis missed a demonstration was in July – after he inhaled tear gas sprayed by Israeli forces. Being exposed to this chemical weapon left the 67-year-old unwell for a week, during which time he endured muscle spasms.

The incident was frightening.

Younis had brought 14 of his grandsons with him to a tent erected about 500 meters from the fence separating Gaza and Israel. They were singing patriotic songs and playing a game to see who knew the most Palestinian placenames, when the Israeli military began firing in their direction.

“My grandsons started to scream and run,” said Younis, who lives in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city.