Protection of Civilians report-Nov. 10-16, 2015
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs publishes a weekly Protection of Civilians report. The current report covers the period between November 10 – 16, 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):
- In two separate incidents on 19 November, according to initial media reports, a Palestinian stabbed and killed two Israeli men in Tel Aviv, and another Palestinian opened fire at Israeli vehicles near Bethlehem, killing two Israelis and one Palestinian; both perpetrators were arrested.
- On 17 November, a Palestinian man opened fire at Israeli forces near the entrance of Turmus’ayya village northeast of Ramallah and was subsequently shot and killed; no injuries among Israeli forces were reported.
- The wave of violence across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continued during the reporting period (10 to 16 November) resulting in nine Palestinian and two Israeli fatalities, and another 1,123 Palestinian and eight Israeli injuries. Between 1 October and 16 November, 85 Palestinians and eleven Israelis were killed, and 9,171 Palestinians and at least 133 Israelis were injured in the oPt and Israel. Nearly half of the Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank since 1 October occurred in the Hebron governorate (29, mostly in Hebron city), and one third in the Jerusalem governorate (19, mostly in East Jerusalem); the majority of these fatalities (70 percent) were perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis. In connection to these incidents, on 16 November, two United Nations Special Rapporteurs expressed concern about excessive use of force, including cases which “appear to amount to summary executions”.
- Three alleged Palestinian perpetrators and two Israeli settlers were killed, and two Palestinian children and three Israelis, including one child were injured, in the course of one shooting, three stabbings and alleged stabbings, and one alleged ramming attack during the reporting period. On 13 November, a Palestinian man opened fire at an Israeli vehicle travelling on Road 60, in the Hebron governorate, and killed two Israeli settlers, a father and his 18-year-old son, and injured a child; the perpetrator fled the scene and was later arrested by Israeli forces. In two separate incidents on 10 November, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy at the Wadi Nar checkpoint (Jerusalem) and a 37-year-old man near the Old City in East Jerusalem; according to Israeli media reports, both Palestinians attempted to stab Israeli security forces, however, the circumstances of the incidents remain unclear. On the same day, two Palestinian children, aged 12 and 13-years-old, were seriously injured after they stabbed and injured an Israeli security guard on the light rail in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement in East Jerusalem. Finally, on 14 November, a Palestinian driver hit his car into an Israeli settler’s car on Road 60, near the settlement of Psagot (Ramallah), injuring three settlers and killing himself.
- Israeli forces shot and killed five Palestinians during clashes that erupted in the context of protests and a punitive demolition in the West Bank. On 13 November, three Palestinian men were shot and killed in three separate clashes during protests that took place in Halhul and at the Beit ‘Enoun junction, both in Hebron, and in Budrus village in Ramallah. Another two Palestinian men were shot and killed in the Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem) during clashes that broke out in the course of a punitive demolition (see below), which involved the throwing of stones and, according to the Israeli army, also Molotov cocktails and shooting at Israeli forces.
- A total of 1,119 Palestinians, including 203 children and four on-duty medical staff, were injuredduring the abovementioned and other clashes across the oPt. Protests and clashes took place next to the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip, near Erez and Nahal Oz Crossings, east of Al Bureij Refugee Camp, resulting in 20 injuries. The rest of the injuries (1,099) occurred in the West Bank, with the highest number recorded in the Qalqiliya Governorate (260), followed by Ramallah (243), Tulkarm (214), Bethlehem (135), Hebron (102), and Jerusalem (101). At least 143 of the injuries in the West Bank and seven in the Gaza Strip were by live ammunition, while most of the remainder were by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation (only people receiving medical assistance are counted as injured). Also this week, on four occasions, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the cost of the Gaza Strip, injuring two of them.
- On 12 November, an Israeli undercover force entered Al Ahli hospital in Hebron city and shot to death a 28-year-old Palestinian man. Amnesty International stated that this killing “may amount to an extra-judicial execution” and called on the Israeli authorities to open an investigation. During the operation, the Israeli forces arrested a cousin of the victim, who had been hospitalized and is reportedly suspected of committing a stabbing attack. Earlier this month, following two raids into Al Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem, UN Agencies called upon the Israeli authorities to respect health premises and the right to health care.
- This week, the Israeli authorities destroyed five homes in Nablus city (three), Silwad (Ramallah) and Qalandia Refugee Camp (Jerusalem), belonging to Palestinians who had been accused of committing attacks against Israelis earlier in the year, citing the need to “deter others”. At least 16 additional apartments within the same buildings as well as ones adjacent to those targeted have been severely damaged, including one entirely destroyed. These demolitions displaced and rendered homeless 47 people, including 20 children, in both the targeted and adjacent structures. On the same grounds, another three homes were served with demolition orders during the week and one residence was surveyed. Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment and as such are illegal under international law. The Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, called upon the Israeli authorities to halt this practice.
- The Israeli authorities also demolished 17 Palestinian-owned structures in five communities in Area C and East Jerusalem on grounds that they lacked building permits, including 12 residences (four of them uninhabited), four agricultural structures, and a water cistern. As a result, 27 people, including 12 children, were displaced, and another 138 were otherwise affected. Three of the affected localities were in the Hebron governorate (Hebron city, Al Ganoub, and Jurat Al Khiel), as well as one in Jenin (Ti’innik) and one in Jerusalem (Jabal al Mukabbir).
- All the residents of the Humsa al Buqai’a herding community in the Tubas governorate (13 families, including 46 children), were displaced from their homes to make way for an Israeli military training on two occasions during the week, for six and 18 hours each time. This is the 11th time since the beginning of 2015 that these residents are temporarily displaced due to military trainings. Humsa al Buqai’a is one of 38 Bedouin and herding communities (6,224 residents) located in areas designated by the Israeli authorities as a closed zone for military training (“firing zone”).
- In addition to the above stabbing and shooting incidents, there were four incidents of stone throwing by Palestinians against Israeli settlers, which resulted in the injury of one settler and in damage to three vehicles near Hebron (two incidents), Ramallah, and in East Jerusalem. Additionally, three incidents of stone throwing and three incidents of Molotov cocktail throwing at Israeli vehicles were reported during the week, with no casualties or damage reported.
- Following the killing of two Israeli setters on 13 November, Israeli forces imposed additional access restrictions across the Hebron governorate, forcing people to use long detours and wait at checkpoints, disrupting their access to services and livelihoods. The restrictions included the intermittent closure of two main entrances to Hebron city (Al Fahs and Haggai); the blockage of the main access routes to As Samu’ and Al Majd villages; and the deployment of 41 ad hoc (‘flying’) checkpoints at the entrances to multiple villages. The closure of the main routes into Bani Na’im, Dura and Sa’ir, which were reported the previous week, continues, while the entrance to Al Fawwar refugee camp has been opened, but is now controlled by a checkpoint. The severe movement restrictions within the settlement area of Hebron city also 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. Additionally, in the Ramallah governorate, the main route connecting villages east of Ramallah city to Road 60, as well as the main entrance to An Nabi Salih village were closed, affecting a combined population of at least 17,000.
- In East Jerusalem, during the week the Israeli authorities removed two checkpoints and two roadblocks that restricted Palestinian movement to and from the neighbourhoods of at Thuri and at Tur. By the end of the reporting period, there were 19 obstacles installed since mid- October 2015 in various areas of the city, including eight checkpoints, ten roadblocks, and one earthmound.
- 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 indicates that over 25,000 people with urgent needs are registered and waiting to cross when the crossing reopens.