The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reports 20 Palestinians were injured in Gaza due to celebratory shooting-in-the-air upon the return of convicted terrorists freed by Israel in exchange for Hamas’ release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
After surveying hospitals last Tuesday, the Center reported that among the injured were six children and three women.
Gaza hospitals reported admitting patients with bullet and shrapnel wounds, including a 24-year-old with a serious bullet wound to the head, a 17-year-old with a bullet to the face, a seven-year-old with a bullet to the neck, a five-year-old with shrapnel in the thigh, and a two-year-old with shrapnel in the hand.
In its report, the Center called on Hamas authorities to crack down and find those responsible:
PCHR is concerned over casualties resulting from the use of weapons in celebrations, which constitutes a form of misuse of weapons and assaults on the rule of law.
Shooting in the air is frequently seen during celebrations in the Muslim world, including at weddings. And not infrequently, reports of guests being injured by bullets.
Last year, a Turkish groom celebrating his own wedding fired an AK-47 which missed the air and instead killed his father and two aunts and injured eight adults and children.
CNN Reporter Sara Sidner was hit by shell casings filing a report outside Muammar Gadhafi’s compound this summer. Her colleague Michael Holmes reported Libyan rebels were firing celebratory rounds in the air with their AK-47s and anti-aircraft munitions:
But I have to say I’d not seen anti-aircraft “celebratory gunfire” before this conflict. And the volume of fire near Sara and the team was something to behold. Clearly, the rebels must have thought they had no further need for their bullets.
And I noted that several of the rebels, including one operating one of those anti-aircraft guns, might technically have been “shooting into the air,” but only just. The anti-aircraft gun seemed to be pointed at an angle that would have made anyone on the third floor of a building in its line of fire want to don some body armor.
In August, The Blaze released an article detailing the science behind dangerous celebratory gunfire, and noted that there have been fatalities in the U.S. tied to the practice, including a 4-year-old Atlanta boy in 2010.