OCHA Protection of Civilians Weekly Report–March 31-Paril 13, 2015
The United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories publishes a Protection of Civilians report. The current report covers the period between March 31 – April 13, 2015. To view the complete version of the report, including a series of charts with the main indicators, please click here.
- Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians: a 28-year-old man during clashes with Palestinian stone-throwers in Beit Ummar (Hebron) and a 27-year-old man who stabbed and injured two Israeli soldiers near Sinjil village (Ramallah). The first incident took place during the funeral of a 22-year-old Palestinian who died after being released from an Israeli prison due to his medical condition, which according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club was caused by medical negligence.
- 117 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank in clashes with Palestinian stone-throwers. Fourteen of the injuries, including four children, were caused by live ammunition. Most clashes took place during protests, including against the two aforementioned killings, as well as the weekly protests against the Barrier in Bil’in and Ni’lin (Ramallah); against settlement expansion in An Nabi Saleh (Ramallah); and against the closure of one of the main entrances to Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). Of concern, for the second time in three weeks, Israeli forces shot and injured with rubber bullets a Palestinian child, a 13-year-old girl, on her way back from school, next to Shu’fat checkpoint, (East Jerusalem), while clashes were ongoing nearby.
- In two separate incidents, members of armed groups in Gaza reportedly opened fire towards a community in southern Israel and at Israeli forces along the perimeter fence, to which Israeli forces responded by opening fire. No casualties were reported.
- On at least 36 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian civilians in areas near Gaza’s perimeter fence and at the sea, resulting in the injury of five civilians, including two children. On one occasion, Egyptian naval forces fired “warning” shots towards Palestinian boats approaching Egyptian waters, west of Rafah, forcing them north. Two children were injured while tampering with unexploded ordnance, southeast of Deir al Balah.
- On 14 April 2014, the Israeli State Attorney announced that an indictment would be filed against a soldier for committing the offense of “reckless and negligent act using a firearm”, in a 2013 case where Israeli forces shot an unarmed 16-year-old Palestinian boy in his back, killing him, close to the Barrier in Budrus (Ramallah). Human rights organizations noted the disparity between the gravity of the action and the lenient offence chosen for the indictment.
- Israeli forces conducted 147 search and arrest operations, including a large scale operation in Hebron, in search of an Israeli civilian falsely reported missing near Beit Einun village. Overall, 197 Palestinians were arrested across the oPt, including 10 near the fence surrounding Gaza, during attempts to cross into Israel.
- The Israeli authorities demolished nine Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem for lack of Israeli-issued building permits, affecting a total of seven families. In Area C, the Israeli authorities carried out multiple seizures of equipment and materials, claiming they were used for “illegal” construction in Area C, including 20 solar panels in the Khan al Ahmar Abu al Helu Bedouin community (Jerusalem); a grader used to open agricultural roads in ‘Ein al Beida (Tubas); a construction vehicle in Khirbet Tana (Nablus); and a caravan serving as a shop in Hizma (Jerusalem). The solar panels were provided as humanitarian assistance to the affected community, which is at risk of forcible transfer due to an Israel “relocation” plan.
- Four Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their property were recorded, including two physical assaults in Hebron, leading to the injury of two Palestinian girls, 11 and 16-years-old, along with a 46-year old Palestinian man. Incidents resulting in damage included the cutting of 100 trees in Al Jaba’, reportedly by settlers from Bat Ayin (Hebron), and (not included in the count) land leveling near Migdal Oz (Hebron) and Sde Bo’az outpost (Bethlehem) reportedly for settlement expansion.
- Five Palestinian attacks resulting in Israeli settler injuries or property damage were reported by the Israeli media, including the injury of four Israeli settler men as a result of stone-throwing at busses and damage to a bus and a vehicle in the Jerusalem and Bethlehem governorates. Additionally, the light train segment running in Shu’fat sustained damage as a result of stone-throwing by Palestinians on three separate occasions.
- During the reporting period, two Palestinians were killed and 19 injured in Gaza and the West Bank in the context of family and other internal disputes.
- The Rafah crossing was closed in both directions by the Egyptian authorities during the week. The crossing has been continuously closed since 24 October 2014, following an attack in Sinai, except for 12 days, on which it was opened, but with restrictions.