UN OCHA Protection of Civilians Weekly Report: June 30 - July 6, 2015

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs publishes the Protection of Civilians report weekly.  To view the complete and current version of the report, including a series of charts with the main indicators, please click here.

Highlights:

  • On 3 July, a senior Israeli military officer shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy near Qalandiya checkpoint (Jerusalem). According to media reports, the Israeli military claimed that the boy was shot while throwing rocks at the officer’s vehicle and putting the officer’s life at risk. Various Palestinian sources indicated that the boy was shot while attempting to climb the Barrier to reach Al Aqsa mosque. Two of the victim’s brothers (both children) were killed by Israeli forces in clashes during the second Intifada. This brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 2015 to 14 so far, including three children, almost the same as during the equivalent period in 2014 (13 and three respectively).
  • Israeli forces injured 13 Palestinians, including two children, in various incidents and clashes across the West Bank. Half of the injuries occurred over the course of search and arrest operations in Ad Duheisha refugee camp (Bethlehem), Beit Ummar (Hebron), Tell (Nablus) and Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah). Overall, Israeli forces conducted 55 such operations during the week and arrested 79 Palestinians. The weekly average of search and arrest operations has been 84 since the start of 2015. Other injuries occurred in clashes during protests against the killing incident near Qalandiya; the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya); and stone-throwing at Israeli forces positioned at the entrance of Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah).
  • In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces opened fire towards civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea on at least five occasions, resulting in no casualties or damage to property. One land-leveling incursion by Israeli forces, approximately 150 metres into the Gaza Strip, was also reported.
  • Seven Israeli settler attacks resulting in Palestinian injuries or property damage were recorded. These included a stone-throwing incident near Za’tara checkpoint, resulting in the injury of three Palestinians; damage to a vehicle near Qusra village; and the vandalizing of 15 Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burin, all in the Nablus governorate. Additionally, four Palestinians were injured by Israeli settlers in four separate incidents including a stone-throwing attack on Palestinian vehicles travelling on road 1 near Sheikh Jarrah area (East Jerusalem) reportedly causing abortion to a pregnant woman and three physical assault incidents in Ras Karkar (Ramallah), Marda (Salfit), and the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces sealed a family home with concrete and metal in the Jabal al Mukabbir area of East Jerusalem, displacing six people including one child. This was the home of one of the perpetrators of an attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem in November 2014 in which five Israelis were killed, along with the two perpetrators. Human rights organizations have expressed concern that this practice may constitute a collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law.
  • The Israeli authorities narrowed the age criteria to allow Palestinians holding West Bank IDs into East Jerusalem without permit for the third Friday of Ramadan, reportedly in response to a series of Palestinian attacks in the previous two weeks. In addition, all permits issued to Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and residents of Sa’ir town (Hebron), home to the perpetrator who stabbed and injured an Israeli border policeman two weeks ago were revoked. The minimum age for men was raised from 40 to 50 and only women over 30 were permitted entry, whereas no age restriction had been enforced in the previous two weeks. Lack of clarity regarding these changes and insufficient dissemination of information resulted in confusion and hundreds of people being turned back at the checkpoints. Overall, around 50,000 Palestinians entered East Jerusalem through four designated checkpoints along the Barrier compared with around 120,000 the previous week.
  • The Rafah crossing was closed entirely in both directions during the week. The previous week, the crossing was opened on three days and 1,546 people were allowed to cross in both directions, the largest figure since the closure on 24 October 2014. This week’s closure was in response to the escalation in hostilities between armed groups and Egyptian forces in northern Sinai. So far in 2015, 7,504 Palestinians have exited Gaza via Rafah compared to 18,225 Palestinians during the first half of 2014.
  • Electricity supply across Rafah governorate in southern Gaza has severely diminished since 1 Julyfollowing a halt in the functioning of three feeder lines transferring electricity from Egypt. This is reportedly due to damage sustained during hostilities in the northern Sinai. The result has been rolling power cuts of 20 hours per day, up from 12 hours per day previously, and severe disruption in the delivery of medical and water and sanitation services has been reported

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