Protection of Civilians weekly report
Every week, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs publishes a Protection of Civilians report. The current report covers the period between September 15-28, 2015. To view the complete version of the report, including a series of charts with the main indicators, please click here.
- Israeli forces killed two Palestinians during the reporting period, including an 18-year-old female student shot multiple times at a checkpoint on Ash Shuhada Street in Hebron city on 22 September. The student died of her wounds at an Israeli hospital the same day. According to the Israeli authorities, the woman attempted to stab an IDF soldier. The Israeli description of the incident was contested by Amnesty International, which cited evidence indicating “extrajudicial execution”. On 24 September, a 25-year-old Palestinian died of gunshot wounds sustained during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the Beit Furik checkpoint (Nablus) on 18 September. According to media reports, the Israeli authorities say that they responded by shooting at Palestinians who threw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli vehicle, which Palestinian eyewitnesses deny.
- Also on 22 September, a 21-year-old Palestinian was killed when an explosive device, he was attempting to throw at an Israeli forces vehicle, detonated in Khursa village (Hebron).
- 51 Palestinians, including two children, and five Israeli policemen were injured during clashes in Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount during the reporting period. According to the director of Al Aqsa Mosque, the interior of the mosque sustained damage. The clashes followed weeks of increased entry of settlers and other Israeli groups into the compound, around the Jewish Holidays, while varying restrictions were imposed on the entry of Palestinians, with some easing allowed during the four-day Muslim Eid holiday. In this connection, widespread Palestinian protests and clashes took place in other parts of the oPt including the Gaza Strip, resulting in injury to 128 Palestinians, including 43 children, as well as to 14 members of Israeli forces (all in the West Bank) and causing damage to around 100 olive trees, affected by fire which set off as a result of the firing of tear gas canisters at protesters in Tuqu’ (Bethlehem).
- Israeli forces injured an additional 106 Palestinians, including 37 children, in addition to two internationals, in the West Bank, including 13 Palestinians injured during search and arrest operations in Hebron city, Beit Ummar (Hebron), Tuqu’ (Bethlehem), Deir al Hatab (Nablus), Jenin Refugee Camp (Jenin), Nablus city; 86 people and an international, injured during weekly demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) and Bil’in (Ramallah); a Palestinian child and an international during the funeral of a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in Beit Furik; three injured at a checkpoint in the H2 area of Hebron; and three Palestinians injured during other clashes.
- Members of Palestinian armed groups fired several rockets towards southern Israel. On 18 and 21 September, one rocket landed in Sderot causing damage to property and another landed in the Hof Ashkelon area with no injuries or damage reported. In addition, a rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted by Israel, without damage. On 19 September, Israeli air forces fired at least two missiles at a telecommunications tower, east of Jabalia, reportedly used by an armed group, and a water tower east of Beit Hanoun. Both facilities and a number of nearby houses sustained damage and two Palestinian civilian residents were injured.
- On 8 September, a 17-year-old-youth was injured when unexploded ordnance (UXO) detonated in Gaza City. UNMAS estimates that there are over 5,000 UXO in Gaza as a result of the 2014 hostilities. Since the August 2014 ceasefire, at least eleven people have been killed by UXO and 110 injured.
- Israeli forces carried out 128 search and arrest operations in the West Bank, the majority of which (44) were conducted in the Jerusalem governorate. Likewise, of 248 total people arrested in the West Bank, 154 Palestinians, including around 40 children, were recorded in Jerusalem.
- In Gaza, on 15 September, Israeli forces injured a member of the Gaza security forces while the latter was preventing a Palestinian from crossing the perimeter fence into Israel without Israeli authorization. During the reporting period, 13 Palestinians reportedly attempted to cross the perimeter fence into Israel without authorization, including four who were arrested by Israeli forces. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered and leveled land and carried out excavations near the perimeter fence inside Gaza.
- Three Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians, leading to injury or damage to property, were reported,including the physical assault, of a Palestinian man who entered the settlement of Shave Shomron by mistake; an arson attack causing damage to around 550 trees in southern Hebron reportedly by settlers from Haggay settlement ;damage to a water cistern in Al Khader (Hebron), reportedly by settlers from El’azar settlement ;and (not included in the count) the injury of a seven-year-old boy in a hit-and-run incident in the H2 area of Hebron city.
- Fourteen Palestinian attacks resulting in injury to settlers or damage to their property were recorded during the period, marking the highest weekly average (7) of such attacks since 3 February 2015. All attacks involved stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles in the governorates of Hebron, Bethlehem Jerusalem and Ramallah. One incident involved the hurling of Molotov cocktails at houses in the settlement of Nof Zion in East Jerusalem, leading to the injury of five settlers and a member of Israeli forces.
- Fuel supply to Gaza including for the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) was disrupted due to the closure of the crossing points during Jewish holidays as well as lack of efficient coordination among Palestinian authorities, resulting in shortage of fuel at the local market and also in rolling power cuts across Gaza of up to 20 hours per day. Toward the end of the reporting period fuel supply for GPP resumed and rolling power cuts reduced to 12-16 hours per day. During the last reporting period, rolling electricity cuts increased from 12-16 to over 20 hours per day, due to the general lack of fuel and problems with Egyptian supply lines, which were later resolved. Power cuts have severely disrupted the provision of basic services, including health and water.
- During the reporting period, Israeli forces intensified access restrictions in the West Bank, including closing the northern entrance to Ar Ram town with road blocks since 20 September, and closing for several days the southern and western agricultural roads in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya); and closing the entrances to the villages of Al Isawiya and Sur Bahir (East Jerusalem) and Deir Nidham (Ramallah).
- The Israeli authorities demolished five structures in the Jerusalem governorate, for lack of Israeli-issued building permits. These included three commercial structures in the village of Hizma, an animal structure in Al Isawiya village and a house under construction in the Silwan area. Israeli authorities issued eviction orders against 600 dunums of land east of Qusra (Nablus), claiming it is “state land”, and against over 20 dunums of land in Qarawat Bani Hassan village (Salfit), on grounds that it is a natural reserve; in the latter case, the owners are required to uproot trees planted there four years ago. Additionally in the Tubas governorate, Israeli authorities confiscated a tractor in Ein al Hilwa and a water tank from Humsa Al Bqai’a, for unclear reasons.
- The Rafah Crossing was exceptionally opened on 17 September for Palestinian pilgrims travelling to Mecca (Saudi Arabia), allowing over 500 to cross into Egypt. The crossing has been continuously closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 33 days of partial openings.