UN OCHA Protection of Civilians Weekly-Sept. 1-7, 2015
Each week, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid publishes the Protection of Civilians report. The current issue covers the period between September 1-7, 2015. To view the complete version of the report, including a series of charts with the main indicators, please click here.
- On 6 September, a 32-year-old Palestinian woman died of wounds sustained on 31 July during an arson attack by suspected Israeli settlers in Duma village (Nablus). This is the third fatality as a result of this attack, which include the woman’s 18-month old baby and her husband. The family was survived by their 4-year-old son who is recovering from burns in an Israeli hospital. While an investigation by the Israeli authorities is reportedly ongoing, so far, no suspect has been arrested in connection to the attack.
- This week, Israeli authorities served two Israeli-settlers with indictments for an arson attack on aBedouin tent in the West Bank that took place in August 2015, according to Israeli media. This is the first such indictment in connection to an arson attack, in 2015. Of 13 complaints followed up by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, regarding arson attacks filed with the Israeli police since 2008, one led to an indictment, two are still under investigation, and ten cases were closed without indictment.
- 30 Palestinians, including five children, were injured across the oPt. These include a 10-year-old child who was accompanying his father while fishing in Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at sea, off the coast of the Gaza Strip. The remaining injures occurred in the West Bank in multiple clashes with Israeli forces during search and arrest operations in Al Am’ari (Ramallah), Ayda (Bethlehem), and Qalandiya (Jerusalem) refugee camps, and the villages of Azmut (Nablus), and Anabta (Tulkarem); during the weekly demonstrations in An Nabi Saleh (Ramallah) and Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya); at Al Hamra checkpoint (Nablus); and during settler-related incidents in Beit Furik (Nablus) and in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem (more details below). Additionally a 75-year-old woman was physically assaulted by Israeli forces while on her land near Salem village (Nablus), as she tried to intervene in the arrest of a farmer.
- On 2 September, Israeli settlers settled in a Palestinian house in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem, triggering clashes between settlers and Palestinians resulting in injury to 13 Palestinians by Israeli forces in the course of their intervention. Silwan has repeatedly been the target of extensivesettlement activities by the Israeli government. Since 2005 nine buildings have been occupied by settlers, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Centre-Silwan.
- Two Israeli settler attacks leading to injury or damage to property were recorded during the week,including the physical assault of a 20-year-old Palestinian by a group of Israeli settlers including several who were masked, in the H2 area of Hebron city, and the ramming and killing of seven sheep on road 317, south of Hebron.
- Two Palestinian attacks on settlers and other Israeli groups were reported by Israeli media during the week, including the injury of two Jewish students, who were stoned and had their vehicle set on fire,after their group entered the Jabal al Johar area of the Israeli-controlled H2 part of Hebron city, reportedly by mistake; the students were given refuge by a Palestinian resident until they were evacuated, following coordination between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.
- On 3 September, the Israeli authorities demolished seven Palestinian-owned structures in East Tayba Bedouin community in Area C for lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 9 people, including five children, and otherwise affecting 10 others. This was the eighth Bedouin community targeted with demolitions in just over two weeks, from the group of 46 communities in the central West Bank at-risk of forcible transfer due to an official Israeli “relocation” plan. Additionally, Israeli forces removed around 15 shopping stalls belonging to Palestinians at At Taybe barrier gate (Tulkarem) overnight, without prior warning, according to an affected shopping-stall owner. In the southern West Bank, dozens of demolition and stop work orders were issued in Area C, including against 18 residential structures and a donor-funded school serving 40 students in three communities in the Massafer Yatta area (Hebron) which has been designated by the Israeli authorities since the 1980’s as a closed military zone for training, also referred to as the “918 firing zone”. Around 1000 people currently living in this area are at risk of forcible transfer.
- In the Gaza Strip, sixteen Palestinians including two entire families were arrested in four separate incidents for crossing through the perimeter fence into Israel without Israeli authorization, including a 24-year-old unarmed Palestinian, who was shot with live ammunition before being arrested. On three occasions, Israeli forces entered and leveled land and carried out excavations near the perimeter fence, inside Gaza.
- On 2 September, Palestinians in northern Gaza opened fire at Israeli houses in a community in southern Israel; no injuries were reported. Following the incident, Israeli forces fired at least one missile at a site reportedly used by members of armed groups for training.
- The Rafah Crossing was exceptionally opened on 7 September for Palestinian pilgrims, allowing 750 people to exit the Gaza Strip into Egypt. The crossing has been continuously closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 30 days of partial openings.