Protection of Civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories report
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs publishes the Protection of Civilians report each week. The current report covers the period between 17 – 23 November 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 24 November, a 21-year-old Palestinian man ran over Israeli forces at Za’tara checkpoint (Nablus) injuring three soldiers; the perpetrator was shot and seriously injured.
- On 25 November, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy died of injuries sustained earlier this month when he was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during clashes near the Ramallah-DCO checkpoint.
- On 26 November, a 19-year-old Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes at a search and arrest operation in Qattanna (Jerusalem).
- On 26 November, the Israeli authorities demolished 14 structures in the herding community of Al Hadidiya (northern Jordan Valley), on grounds of lack of building permits, displacing 15 people; half of the structures destroyed have been provided by humanitarian agencies following previous demolitions.
- The wave of violence across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continued during the reporting period (17 to 23 November) resulting in eight Palestinian and six Israeli fatalities, and another 1,188 Palestinian and 21 Israeli injuries. This week recorded the largest number of Israelis killed and injured in Palestinian attacks in a single week since the start of the current escalation of violence. Between 1 October and 23 November, 92 Palestinians, including 20 children, and 17 Israelis were killed, and 10,346 Palestinians and at least 160 Israelis were injured in the oPt and Israel.
- Six Israelis were killed and 19 others were injured in nine separate Palestinian attacks, including three stabbings, three ramming, and three shooting attacks; one of these fatalities and three of these injuries were of soldiers and policemen. Four Palestinian perpetrators, including a boy and a girl, were shot and killed by Israeli forces during these incidents, and another two Palestinians, including a girl, were injured. An additional Palestinian, a bystander, was also shot and killed in one of the shooting attacks, andanother one was stabbed and injured. Finally, three Palestinians, including one boy and one girl, were killed by Israeli forces in another three alleged stabbing attacks, which resulted in no Israeli casualties. Nine of the attacks and alleged attacks occurred in the West Bank, and the other three in West Jerusalem and Israel. None of the perpetrators reportedly belonged to any faction or armed group. Regarding at least two of the incidents resulting in the killing of two Palestinian girls, human rights organizations have raised serious concern about excessive use of force and even summary executions.
- A Palestinian man died of injuries sustained earlier this month when hit in the head by a tear-gas canister shot by Israeli forces during clashes near the Ramallah-DCO checkpoint. This brings the number of Palestinians killed during protests and clashes with Israeli forces since 1 October to 35, including 19 in the West Bank and 17 in the Gaza Strip.
- 1,188 Palestinians, including at least 302 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the oPt during the week, the vast majority in protests and confrontations with Israeli forces in the West Bank. The Qalqiliya governorate accounted for the largest number of injuries (437), mainly around Al Jaljuliya checkpoint, which controls the only access route into Qalqiliya city; followed by Hebron governorate (218 injuries), mainly in the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron city (H2); Bethlehem (188 injuries); Ramallah (166); and Jerusalem (92 injuries). At least 90 (8 per cent) of the people injured in the West Bank and 31 of those in the Gaza Strip, were hit by live ammunition, while most of the remainder were caused by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation. The latter category includes 77 students and four teachers in two schools located in the H2 area of Hebron city, injured by tear gas inhalation during clashes at a nearby checkpoint.
- Three incidents of stones and Molotov cocktail throwing by Palestinians at Israeli-plated vehicles were reported by Israeli media during the week, none of which resulted in casualties, but damages to several vehicles were reported.
Three Israeli settler attacks leading to injury and damage to property were recorded during the week,including the physical assault of two Palestinian men near Kafr ad Dik (Salfit); stone throwing at Palestinian vehicles near Deir Istiya village (Salfit); and one attack on two Palestinian houses in Al Mazra’a Al Qibliya (Ramallah).
- Armed groups in Gaza fired a number of projectiles towards Israel, two of which landed in southern Israel and the other dropped short inside Gaza; no injuries or damage were reported. In response, the Israeli air force fired missiles targeting military facilities inside Gaza in five occasions, with no casualties reported.
- No demolition of Palestinian structures was recorded during the week on punitive grounds or due to lack of building permits. However, dozens of new demolition and stop work orders and verbal warnings were issued. In one case, the Israeli authorities warned six households in the Area C herding community of Fasayil al Wusta (Jericho governorate) about the upcoming demolition of their residential and livelihood structures, most of which were provided by humanitarian organizations as assistance following a previous demolition in August 2015. Another three herding communities in Area C (Mu’arrajat East, Al Hadidiya and Bir Nabala) were also served with such orders targeting several residences and animal shelters, as well as a donor-funded kindergarten and road.
- Israeli forces blocked the main entrances to Aqraba, Awarta and Burin villages, in the Nablus governorate, and Za’tara village in the Bethlehem governorate, forcing residents to take long detours to access services and livelihoods, including ambulances evacuating people to hospitals. The main entrance to Kafr ad Dik village (Salfit) was re-opened during the week.
- The severe movement restrictions within the settlement area of Hebron city remained, including a sweeping ban on the crossing of Palestinian males aged between 15 and 25 through certain checkpoints, as well as the requirement from residents to register with the Israeli authorities in order to be allowed through other checkpoints. In East Jerusalem, seven obstacles impeding access to and from Palestinian neighbourhoods were removed during the week, bringing the total number of obstacles in place by the end of the reporting period to 16, affecting residents of six different neighborhoods.
- The Israeli Security Cabinet decided to freeze 1,200 permits previously issued to Palestinian laborers from the Hebron governorate to access Israel and East Jerusalem for work, for an indefinite period of time. Access of Palestinian workers to their places of work in Israeli settlements in the Gush Etzion area (Bethlehem) has been also banned. These measures are expected to severely impact the income level and livelihoods of affected families.
- Israeli forces carried out 79 search and arrest operations across the West Bank. The largest operation took place in Beit Awwa, Deir Samit and Tarusa villages (Hebron), where over 150 houses were searched and 53 people arrested; three affected families reported damage to their property or theft. Two additional raids, which involved also Israeli settlers, took place at Al Lubban ash Sharqiya girls school and Burin boys school (both in the Nablus governorate), severely disrupting classes. In Hebron city, Israeli forces raided a radio station, confiscated equipment and closed it down by military order for a period of six months.
- 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 37 days of partial openings. Authorities in Gaza indicate that over 25,000 people with urgent needs, including around 3,500 medical cases, are registered and waiting to cross.