Posted on 20 December 2018

Protection of Civilians Report | 04 – 17 December 2018

  • An escalation of violence has been ongoing in the West Bank since 9 December, resulting in the killing of seven Palestinians and three Israelis and the injury of 481 Palestinians and 16 Israelis, alongside multiple search and arrest operations, violent clashes, punitive demolitions and severe access restrictions. The situation in the Gaza Strip remained relatively calm during the reporting period. In a statement issued on 16 December the Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Jamie McGoldrick, called “on all actors – including armed groups, security forces and armed civilians – to refrain from attacks on civilians and other actions that would further escalate the violence”, as well as to ensure that “law and order operations are conducted with restraint and that protection is provided to ambulances, children, schools and civilians at large.”
  • Two shooting attacks by Palestinians in the Ramallah governorate resulted in the death of a new born Israeli child and two Israeli soldiers, and the injury of another eight Israeli settlers and one soldier. On 9 December, a Palestinian shot and injured seven Israeli settlers, including a pregnant woman and four children, while driving at the entrance of Ofra settlement; a baby subsequently delivered prematurely by emergency caesarian section died three days later. On 13 December, another Palestinian opened fire at a bus station on Road 60, next to Giv’at Assaf settlement outpost, killing two soldiers and injuring another soldier and an Israeli female settler. The perpetrators of both attacks fled the scene.
  • Another four Israeli soldiers were injured by Palestinians during three additional reported attacks; two of the perpetrators were shot and killed. On 11 December, a Palestinian man drove his car into a group of Israeli Border Policemen near Idhna village (Hebron), injuring one of them, and was killed while trying to flee. On 13 December, a Palestinian man stabbed and injured two Israeli border policemen in the Old City of Jerusalem and was subsequently shot and killed. On 14 December, a Palestinian man entered the Beit El settlement (Ramallah), where he stabbed an Israeli soldier and struck him with a rock from close proximity, injuring him; he reportedly handed himself to the Israeli authorities the following day.
  • Israeli forces killed five Palestinians, including two suspected perpetrators, in various search and arrest operations and related clashes. On 4 December, a 22-year-old disabled Palestinian man was shot in the head during a military operation in Tulkarm city; according to Palestinian sources, no clashes were ongoing in the area of the fatal shooting. The Israeli authorities opened an investigation. On 12 December, following an exchange of fire in Nablus city, Israeli forces killed the suspected perpetrator of an attack on 7 October, in which two Israelis were killed. The same day in Surda town (Ramallah), an Israeli undercover unit killed the suspected perpetrator of the shooting attack in Ofra settlement; according to Palestinian witnesses, the man was alive with his hands and legs cuffed when taken into the unit’s vehicle. During an arrest operation in the industrial area of Al Bireh (Ramallah), on 13 December, Israeli forces killed a 58-year-old Palestinian man who was driving near his workplace and lightly injured an Israeli soldier with his car. The following day, a 18 years old Palestinian youth was shot and killed during clashes in the Jalazun Refugee Camp (Ramallah).
  • Additionally, 246 Palestinians, including 52 children, were injured by Israeli forces in these and other clashes, mostly following search and arrest operations and protests; overall, Israeli forces conducted 215 operations where 287 Palestinians were arrested. The majority of the casualties and arrests were recorded since 13 December. The Ramallah governorate accounted for 31 per cent of the operations and 60 per cent of the injuries during the reporting period. Eight Palestinians were also injured during clashes following the entry of Israeli settlers to Nablus city to visit Joseph’s Tomb. Of all injuries, nearly 70 per cent were by tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment, 15 per cent by rubber bullets, and 9 per cent by live fire.
  • Another five Palestinians were injured and 15 arrested by Palestinian security forces during a demonstration in Hebron city. The demonstration was held to commemorate the foundation of the Hamas movement. According to media reports, demonstrators were assaulted with batons and stun grenades.
  • On 13 December, for several hours, the Israeli army blocked the main access routes leading from/to Ramallah city. Two of these routes were still closed as of the end of the reporting period, including two from the east (DCO checkpoint) and one from the west (Deir Ibzi’ gate). Most other routes remained controlled by soldiers, who search vehicles and travellers, resulting in heavy traffic jams, particularly at Qalandiya and Atara checkpoints.
  • 29 Palestinians were displaced as a result of two punitive demolitions and another 80 were injured during related clashes. On 15 December, the Israeli army exploded and destroyed a four-storey building in Al Amari refugee camp (Ramallah), and severely damaged two adjacent buildings, displacing a total of 23 people, including six children. The targeted building was the family home of a man who killed an Israeli soldier with a brick during a search operation in the camp in May 2018. Over 80 Palestinians were injured in clashes during and following the demolition. On 17 December, the basement and ground floor of a three story building in Tulkarm city were demolished, rendering the whole building dangerous and displacing six people, including one child. The targeted floors were home to a Palestinian, who, on 7 October, killed two Israelis (see above).
  • Additionally, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 26 Palestinian structures in Area C and East Jerusalem displacing another 18 people and affecting the livelihoods of around 170 others. All the incidents took place on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued building permits. Twenty of the structures were located in five communities in Area C and the rest in East Jerusalem.
  • Surge in Israeli settler violence during protests and raids following the two shooting incidents by Palestinians. At least 38 incidents of stone-throwing by Israeli settlers at Palestinian vehicles were recorded during the period, resulting in the injury of 12 people and damage to dozens of cars. Most of the incidents occurred during protests held by settlers following the 13 December shooting attack, nearly half of them in the Ramallah governorate. Some of the incidents also involved the blockage of key road junctions. In one incident, a group of settlers on their way to one of the protests, accompanied by Israeli forces, raided Beitin village (Ramallah), where a Palestinian man was shot and injured. In another two incidents, three Palestinian men were physically assaulted and injured by settlers near Al Maniya and Taqu’ villages (both in Bethlehem) and Modi’in Illit settlement (Ramallah). Palestinian sources reported that Israeli settlers vandalized 266 olive and almond trees in two incidents in Turmus’ayya (Ramallah) and Tuwani (Hebron) villages.
  • In the Gaza Strip, the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations near the fence and at the beach continued, resulting in the death of a 4-year-old Palestinian boy and the injury of another 557 by Israeli forces. The child died on 11 December of live ammunition wounds sustained during the previous Friday demonstration, east of Khan Yunis. Of all injuries during this period, 102 were children and 340 required hospitalization, including 105 people injured by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
  • On at least 15 occasions outside of the demonstrations, Israeli forces opened warning fire in the Access Restricted Areas at land and sea in Gaza. On 10 and 12 December, Israeli naval forces opened fire towards fishermen in the Rafah and Deir El-Balah areas and injured at least two of them and detained six, including a child.  On three occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence, east of Gaza city and the northern areas.
  • The Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt was opened in both directions throughout the reporting period, except for four days. A total of 1,517 people entered Gaza and 2,737 exited. The crossing has been almost continuously open, five days a week, since 12 May 2018.

Palestinian casualties in the occupied Palestinian territory (including East Jerusalem)

Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces in the oPt Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces in the oPt
  • Gaza
  • West Bank
 
Israeli casualties by Palestinians in the oPt and Israel
Israeli fatalities by Palestinians in the oPt and Israel

  • Israel
  • oPt

Israeli injuries by Palestinians in the oPt and Israel

 
Demolitions and related displacements

Palestinian-owned structures demolished

Palestinians displaced due to demolitions

 

Settler-related violence in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)
 
Israeli military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory (including East Jerusalem)
Israeli military incursions into Gaza*

* excluding the period of hostilities (7 July- 26 August
2014)

Total for two weeks In 2018 (to date) Total 2017
3
88
67

Israeli military search and arrest operations into the West Bank

 
Movements of goods into and out of Gaza through Kerem Shalom Crossing
Truckloads leaving Gaza
 
240
Jan-May 2007 weekly average (before the blockade)

Truckloads entering Gaza

 
2807
Jan-May 2007 weekly average(before the blockade)
 
Movement of People via Rafah crossing
Please note that the figures in this report are subject to changes upon the receipt of additional information.


For more information, please contact us at ochaopt@un.org