Protection of Civilians Report | 1 - 14 November 2016
Israeli forcesshot and killed a 23 year-old Palestinian man while he attempted to stab Israeli soldiers next to Ofra settlement (Ramallah). This brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in attacks and alleged attacks since the beginning of 2016 to 73. Another Palestinian man was shot and injured, and subsequently arrested, in an alleged stabbing attempt in Huwwara village (Nablus). No Israeli injuries were reported in either of these incidents. In a separate incident, Palestinians opened fire at a checkpoint next to Tulkarm city, injuring a soldier, and escaped the scene.
Israeli forces injured 57 Palestinians, including 19 children, in multiple clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Nine of the injuries occurred next to the perimeter fence and at the sea in the Gaza Strip and the rest in the West Bank. Most of the latter injuries were recorded in clashes that erupted during search and arrest operations; during weekly demonstrations against the Barrier and settlements in Ni’lin (Ramallah) and Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya); and in events commemorating the 12th anniversary of the death of former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Another nine Palestinians, including three children, were injured while picking olives on their land in three separate incidents involving Israeli forces and settlers: Israeli soldiers physically assaulted two people in unclear circumstances in an area next to Qedumim settlement (Qalqiliya), which they had entered after receiving ‘prior coordination’ access; Israeli settlers physically assaulted four people, from Al Janiya village (Ramallah) who were working next to Talmon settlement; and another four people were injured near Bani Na'im (Hebron), after a stun grenade left behind by Israeli forces exploded. In two additional incidents in the context of the olive harvest, Israeli settlers vandalized 70 olive trees in Sa’ir (Hebron) and harvested Palestinian-owned trees near Shave Shomron settlement (Nablus).
In the West Bank, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 47 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem on grounds of lack of building permits, displacing 26 Palestinians, ten of them children, and affecting the livelihoods of over 330. Nine of these structures had been provided as humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions. The number of structures targeted since the start of 2016 reached 1033, more than double the figure for the same period of 2015. At least 24 demolition, stop-work and eviction orders have been issued during the reporting period.
In the herding community of Khirbet Tana (Nablus), Israeli officials seized an electric generator and a metal-cutting machine, belonging to an aid organization, and took pictures of structures previously provided as assistance, including one serving as a school, four water cisterns and six residential shelters. The community is located within an Israeli-declared “firing zone” and since the start of 2016 sustained four demolitions waves.
In a statement issued on 10 November, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, condemned the Israeli authorities’ continued obstruction of humanitarian assistance, stating that “targeting the most vulnerable of the vulnerable and preventing them from receiving relief - especially as winter sets in - is unacceptable and runs counter to Israel’s obligations as an occupying power”.
On three occasions, Israeli forces displaced 23 families (123 people, including 59 children) from two Palestinian herding communities in the northern Jordan Valley (Khirbet ar Ras al Ahmar and Ibziq) for several hours each time, to make way for military training. The two communities also face regular demolitions and access restrictions, giving rise to concerns over the risk of forcible transfer.
Five Palestinian families (29 people) living in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem received eviction notices in the context of cases filed by Israeli settler organizations claiming ownership over their homes. A mapping exercise carried out by OCHA indicates that at least 180 Palestinian households in East Jerusalem have pending eviction cases filed against them, mainly by Israeli settler organizations, placing over 818 Palestinians, including 372 children, at-risk of displacement.
Israeli settlers physically assaulted and injured a Palestinian child while he was on his way to school in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city. At least four incidents of stone-throwing by Israeli settlers resulted in damage to Palestinian-owned vehicles during the period.
According to Israeli media reports, there were eight incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians against Israeli-plated vehicles, which resulted in the injury of one Israeli settler and damage to at least six vehicles, as well as the Jerusalem light rail. Another vehicle was damaged after being hit by an explosive device near Bethlehem.
In the Gaza Strip, a 15-year old Palestinian child was injured when an Explosive Remnant of War (ERW) exploded while he was playing with it, nearby his school in Rafah.
On at least 23 occasions during the two week period, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinians present in or approaching the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea. On another three occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations in the ARA on land. While no injuries were reported, the work of farmers and fishermen was disrupted.
The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was exceptionally opened on the last day of the reporting period for humanitarian cases, enabling 386 Palestinians to leave and 274 to return to the Gaza Strip (the crossing remained open for a number of days after that). Approximately 20,000 people have previously registered and been waiting to exit Gaza via Rafah since the beginning of 2016, according to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza. The crossing was exceptionally opened on 6 November, to allow a delegation of 93 Palestinians to enter Egypt, and reopened on 12 November, to allow them to return.