Humanitarian Weekly Report from the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Each week, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs publishes the Protection of Civilians report. The current report covers the period between 15 – 28 December 2015. To view the complete version of the report, including a series of charts with the main indicators, please click here.
Latest Developments (outside of the reporting period):
- On 30 December, an Israeli settler died of wounds sustained in a stabbing attack on 7 December.
- During the two-week reporting period (15-28 December) 14 Palestinians, including two children and a woman (15, 17, and 40 years old), and two Israeli men were killed in the context of 11 Palestinian attacks and alleged attacks, including seven stabbings or attempted stabbings, and five ramming incidents. All the incidents occurred in the West Bank, in the governorates of Jerusalem (four), Nablus (four), Ramallah (two), Salfit (one) and Hebron (one). Two Israelis, including a soldier, were injured in these attacks. One of the Israeli fatalities was a bystander shot by Israeli forces responding to a stabbing attack. The circumstances of several incidents remain disputed. None of the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators reportedly belonged to any faction or armed group. Also in this period, a Palestinian women (a bystander) died of wounds sustained on 23 November at a checkpoint, when Israeli forces opened fire in response to an alleged Palestinian attack.
- Israeli forces killed five Palestinian men with live ammunition in the course of clashes in five separate incidents: a search and arrest operation in Qalandiya Refugee Camp (Jerusalem); confrontations in Sinjil village (Ramallah); and three demonstrations near the fence surrounding Gaza, to the east of Khan Younis, Gaza City and Al Bureij Refugee Camp, respectively. The fatality in the latter incident was a man shot while working on land in the vicinity of the clashes.
- Another 668 Palestinians, including at least 215 children, were injured in these and other clashes across the oPt, including 60 near the fence surrounding Gaza and the rest across the West Bank. At least XXX percent of the injuries in the West Bank and XX percent of those in the Gaza Strip were caused by live ammunition, while most of the remainder were caused by rubber bullets or tear gas inhalation. The governorate of Bethlehem accounted for the highest number of injuries (244), followed by Hebron (96), Qalqiliya (51) and Ramallah (44).
- On 16 December, Israeli forces fired a number of shells at an agricultural area east of Khan Younis, injuring three Palestinians. According to the Israeli authorities, this firing came in response to the detonation of an improvised explosive device targeting an Israeli military vehicle. Additionally, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians or their property on at least 23 occasions in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea, causing injury to four Palestinian fishermen, shepherds and farmers. Israeli forces also entered Gaza on four occasions, during which they carried out land leveling and excavation activities.
- During the reporting period, the Israeli authorities handed over the bodies of eight Palestinians who were involved in attacks or alleged attacks, to their families for burial. Since October 2015, the Israeli authorities have withheld the bodies of over 80 Palestinians for various periods of time.
- On 24 December, Egyptian forces shot dead a mentally-disabled Palestinian man who swam naked from Rafah across the maritime border to Egypt .
- During the reporting period, Israeli forces arrested 347 Palestinians in the West Bank in 224 search and arrest operations.
- One third of the arrests were recorded in the Jerusalem governorate. In the Gaza Strip, 12 Palestinian fishermen, including a child, were arrested at sea in the context of Israeli access restrictions; three Palestinians, including two children, were arrested in two separate incidents while attempting to enter Israel without authorization through the Border fence. Additionally a Palestinian family of four was arrested by the de facto authorities during an attempt to enter Israeli through the fence.
- In East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood for lack of an Israeli-issued building permit, displacing one Palestinian, and evicted another Palestinian from his home in the Old City, after he converted his property from commercial to residential. Also in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities delivered a demolition order against a three-storey building in Jabal Al Mukabbir due to the lack of a building permit; the same building was previously issued with a punitive demolition order. In Ein Al Hilweh Um Jmal (Tubas) in Area C, a family was forced to dismantle an animal shelter, affecting 12, including nine children.
- On 16 December, four Palestinian families residing in the Old City of Jerusalem received notices that Israeli settlers have initiated eviction proceedings against them, claiming ownership of their homes. According to the Israeli organization Ir Amim, around 130 Palestinian families in East Jerusalem are subject to legal proceedings instigated by organizations advancing settlement activities in East Jerusalem, or by the Israeli authorities.
- Three settler attacks resulting in damage to Palestinian property were recorded during the reporting period, including throwing tear gas canisters and spraying anti Palestinian graffiti on the walls of a Palestinian house in Beitillu village (Ramallah); uprooting 45 olive saplings in al Lubban ash Sharqiya village; and vandalizing cultivated land in Aqraba (Nablus).
- Five Palestinian attacks involving stone-throwing at Israeli-plated vehicles were reported, resulting in injury to five Israeli settlers and soldiers travelling in the Hebron governorate, and in damage to two vehicles in the Jerusalem governorate.
Israeli forces have deployed hundreds of ad hoc ‘flying’ checkpoints across the West Bank, hampering Palestinian movement. The Hebron governorate remained the area most affected by movement restrictions, resulting in long delays and disruptions in the access of large segments of the population to services and livelihoods. All routes (including dirt roads) leading to the main traffic arteries (Roads 60, 356, 35 and 317) have remained entirely blocked for vehicular movement, or are controlled by flying checkpoints deployed most of the time. The former category impacts four of the main access routes into Hebron city, as well as the main entrances to Hallhul, Sa’ir, As Samu’, Yatta, Beit Ummar, Tarqumiya, and Al Arrub Refugee Camp. Palestinian access to the settlement area within the H2 area of Hebron City has also remained severely restricted, including a ban on the entry of males between 15 and 25 years of age to some areas (Shuhada Street and Tel Rumeida), except for residents whose names are registered with Israeli forces.
- In the northern and central West Bank the Israeli army removed several movement obstacles deployed during previous weeks, re-opening key routes. These included two main access points into Tulkarm city, the main access routes into Ramallah from the east, the Old Road 60 segment near Jalazun, the eastern entrance to Ein Yabrud (servicing 40 villages in Ramallah) and the main entrance to Ar Ram town in the Jerusalem area (affecting around 20,000 Palestinians). In East Jerusalem, access to and from three neighbourhoods (Issawiya, Sur Bahir and Jabal al Mukkabir) has remained impeded by eight checkpoints and roadblocks deployed since October 2015.
- The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the reporting period. The Crossing has been closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 39 days of partial openings.