Protection of Civilians Report | 16 - 29 January 2018

Latest developments

On 30 January, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the village of Al Mughayyir (Ramallah), reportedly after the boy threw stones at an Israeli military vehicle that had entered the village. Eyewitnesses stated that there were no clashes at the time. The Israeli authorities announced the opening of an investigation.

Biweekly highlights

  • On 29 January, the Beit Hanoun hospital in northern Gaza ceased the provision of medical services in the context of long power cuts and after depleting funds for fuel needed to run backup generators. When functional, this hospital provides medical care to over 300,000 people in northern Gaza. Funding for emergency fuel provided by the UN to critical health, water and sanitation, and solid waste facilities, is expected to be exhausted in a few weeks, at most.
  • A 31-year-old Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces on 18 January during a search and arrest operation in Jenin city. According to Israeli sources, the killing occurred during the course of an exchange of fire with armed Palestinians. Israeli forces also bulldozed three homes and a greenhouse during the incident, displacing 16 Palestinians. Another 12 Palestinians were injured during subsequent clashes with Israeli forces. The operation was reportedly aimed at arresting the suspected perpetrators of a shooting attack on 9 January that resulted in the killing of an Israeli settler.
  • In total, Israeli forces carried out 160 search and arrest operations across the West Bank, during which 187 Palestinians, including 23 children, were detained. Two of the operations, including the above-mentioned, triggered clashes which resulted in 16 Palestinian injuries. The Hebron governorate recorded the highest number of operations (50), followed by Bethlehem (29), and Jerusalem (24) governorates. 
  • Overall, 274 Palestinians, including 67 children, were injured by Israeli forces during clashes across the oPt.  Of these, 130 injuries, including 20 near the Gaza perimeter fence, were recorded in demonstrations against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 6 December 2017 - a decline compared to the number of injuries in the same context during the previous reporting period (191). Another 92 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces, after the latter intervened following confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli settler groups that entered three Palestinian localities: Madama (Nablus), Azzun (Qalqiliya) and Nablus city.
  • Two Palestinian children (14 and 16 years old) were shot and injured by Israeli forces at Za’tara/Tapuach checkpoint (Nablus) after they reportedly attempted to stab Israeli soldiers. Both children were subsequently arrested. Additionally, on 19 January, a Palestinian man drove his vehicle at Israeli soldiers near a touristic site next to Jericho city, injuring one of them; the driver was arrested. Israeli sources reported an additional attempted ramming attack on 18 January at a Border Police checkpoint in East Jerusalem, which ended with no casualties; the suspected perpetrator escaped.
  • During the period, a 57-year-old Palestinian man died of cancer in Israeli prison. According to Palestinian sources, his death followed failed efforts to release him for medical treatment elsewhere.       
  • In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces opened fire in the access restricted areas (ARA) on land and on sea on 13 occasions, resulting in no casualties but disrupting the work of farmers and fishermen. On another two occasions, Israeli forces carried out land-levelling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence in Deir al Balah, and northeast of Khan Younis. A 19-year-old man was also detained by Israeli forces as he attempted to enter Israel through the fence, east of Al-Bureij camp.
  • The Israeli authorities demolished ten Palestinian structures in the West Bank, on grounds of lack of an Israeli-issued building permit, displacing seven people. Six of these structures had been provided to families in the Bedouin community of Al Jiftlik Abu Al Ajaj (Jericho), as a humanitarian response to a previous demolition. Another two structures, two multi-story buildings under construction, were located in the community of Bir Onah, which falls within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, but is physically severed from the city by the Barrier. Additionally, Israeli forces bulldozed four dunums of land, damaging around 400 tree saplings near Al Khadr (Bethlehem), on grounds that the area has been designated as “State Land”.
  • Five Israeli settler attacks resulting in Palestinian injuries or property damage were reported. An 18-year-old youth and his 55-year-old mother were physically assaulted and injured by a group of Israeli settlers, while grazing sheep in the Al Mu’arrajat area of Jericho; two vehicles were set on fire in Beit Safafa (East Jerusalem); 12 vehicles were vandalized at the entrance to Beit Iksa village (Jerusalem); and 85 trees were uprooted or damaged in the villages of Nabi Samuel (Jerusalem) and Aqraba (Nablus). According to an Israeli media report, the Israeli Police arrested an Israeli settler from Betar Illit settlement (Bethlehem), suspected of at least six violent attacks against Palestinians employed in this settlement.
  • Two Israeli settlers were injured and at least three vehicles sustained damage in five incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli-plated vehicles, according to Israeli media reports. The incidents were reported in the Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem areas.
  • On 17 January, the Israeli army closed the three entrances to Hizma village (Jerusalem governorate), home to over 7,300 people, for vehicular movement for three days, and then had its main entrance closed for eight additional days. The Israeli army informed the village council that the closures were put in place in response to stone throwing from the village toward Israeli settler vehicles’ travelling on Road 437.
  • During the reporting period, the Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions. According to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza, more than 23,000 people, including humanitarian cases, are registered and waiting to cross Rafah.