Posted on 5 July 2018

Protection of Civilians Report | 19 June – 2 July 2018

Latest Developments

In recent days, Israel has intensified activities in two neighboring Palestinian communities in the hills to the east of Jerusalem, which are at risk of forcible transfer. In Khan Al Ahmar – Abu Al Helu the area has been declared a ‘closed military zone’ and heavy construction equipment has appeared on site. On 4 July, in Abu Nuwar, the Israeli authorities demolished 19 structures, including 9 homes, displacing 51 people, including 33 children.

Biweekly Highlights

  • Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including one child, and injured 615 others, including 23 children, during the mass demonstrations that took place on 22 and 29 June along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’. The child fatality, an eleven-year-old boy, was shot in the head with live ammunition during a demonstration east of Khan Yunis on 29 June. This brings to 19 the number of children killed in Gaza since the start of these protests on 30 March, including one whose body is being withheld by the Israeli authorities. During the reporting period, another two Palestinians died of wounds sustained in previous weeks’ demonstrations. Some 222 of the reported injuries were hospitalized, including 101 people injured by live ammunition. For cumulative casualty figures and breakdowns, see here
  • Israeli forces shot and killed another two Palestinian children in two separate incidents in Gaza, reportedly after they breached the fence into Israel and attempted to damage military facilities. The incidents occurred on 28 June and 2 July, east of Rafah, and also resulted in the injury of three Palestinians, including two children.
  • Palestinians in Gaza have continued launching paper kites and gas balloons with flammable materials into southern Israel. According to the Israeli authorities, since the start of this practice in late April, more than 5,000 dunums (1,200 acres) of crops and 4,000 dunums (1,000 acres) of forest have been burned, with damage estimated in the millions of dollars; no Israeli casualties have been reported in this context.
  • Throughout the reporting period, the Israeli air force launched at least 24 airstrikes in Gaza, while Palestinian armed groups fired dozens of rockets and mortars at southern Israel. According to the Israeli authorities, some airstrikes were carried out in response to the launching of incendiary kites and balloons, reportedly targeting people engaged in such activities, as well as a number of military sites and open areas; five Palestinians were injured as a result. According to Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, the rocket attacks were carried out in retaliation for the Israeli airstrikes; no Israeli casualties or damage were reported as a result.
  • On at least 18 occasions outside of the mass demonstrations, Israeli forces opened fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea in Gaza, resulting in one injury, and forcing away farmers and fishers. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza, and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence east of Gaza and Al Qarara (Khan Yunis).
  • In unclear circumstances, on 30 June, five Palestinian civilians were killed, including two children, and two others were injured in an explosion that took place in a residential house east of Gaza city.
  • In the West Bank, 36 Palestinians, including at least six children, were injured by Israeli forces during protests and clashes. Most of the injuries (16), including to four children, were reported during clashes with Israeli forces, following the entry of Israeli settlers to various religious sites in the West Bank, triggering altercations and clashes with Palestinians. Another eight injuries were reported during clashes in the course of four search and arrest operations, the majority during an operation in Tuqu’ (Bethlehem). Seven injuries were also reported during the weekly demonstration against access restrictions in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). Most of the injuries (19) were caused by rubber bullets, followed by live ammunition (nine), and eight by tear gas inhalation, requiring medical treatment.
  • On 23 June, a Palestinian vehicle struck and injured four Israeli soldiers near Al Khadr village (Bethlehem). Following a search operation, the driver surrendered to Israeli forces. The Israeli military claimed that this had been a deliberate attack; according to the Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO), the man said that it had been an accident.
  • Across the West Bank, Israeli forces conducted 137 search and arrest operations and detained 198 Palestinians, including at least 15 children. The Hebron governorate accounted for the highest portion of operations (30) and the Jerusalem governorate for most arrests (49).
  • Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, the Israeli Authorities demolished, seized or forced people to demolish 26 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing ten people and affecting the livelihoods of more than 160 others. All but one of the targeted structures were in East Jerusalem, bringing the number of structures demolished in this area since the beginning of 2018 to 91, slightly above the same period in 2017. Another structure was seized in Area C, in the herding community of Umm Fagarah, which is located in Firing Zone 918, in southern Hebron (Massafer Yatta).
  • Additionally, on 21 June, an apartment was demolished on punitive grounds in Barta'a ash Sharqiya (Jenin), in Area B, displacing a family of three. The home belonged to the family of a Palestinian who killed two Israeli soldiers in a vehicle ramming incident in March 2018, and was subsequently arrested.
  • Israeli forces displaced 16 Palestinian families from the herding community of Humsa al Bqai’a, in the northern Jordan Valley, for 14 hours to make way for military trainings. This is the sixth time in the past two months that this community, located in an area designated as a ‘firing zone’, was temporarily displaced. Along with demolitions and access restrictions, this practice enhances the coercive environment on the community, placing it at risk of forcible transfer.
  • Thirteen Israeli settler attacks were reported during the period, resulting in more than 500 Palestinian-owned trees vandalized or set on fire. Six of the incidents occurred in the vicinity of Tell, Far’ata, Urif, Burin and Burqa villages (all in Nablus), and Bani Naim (Hebron), reportedly by settlers from Yitzhar, Gilad Farm and Kiryat Arba settlements, who physically assaulted and injured a 38-year-old woman and two children, and vandalized or burnt 450 trees. Another three arson attacks resulting in extensive damage to cultivated lands and at least 70 olive trees were reported in Azmut, Beit Furik (both in Nablus) and Deir Jarir (Ramallah) villages. Since the beginning of 2018, OCHA has recorded the reported uprooting, burning or vandalizing of 4,175 trees by Israeli settlers, representing a 48 and 404 per cent increase, on a monthly average, compared with 2017 and 2016 respectively. In the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, Israeli settlers stoned three Palestinian houses and, in subsequent clashes, injured six Palestinians, including two children. Another five Palestinians were injured and three vehicles damaged by settlers in other stone-throwing incidents.
  • At least nine incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians against Israeli-plated vehicles were reported near Hebron, Ramallah and Jerusalem, resulting in damage to two private vehicles, according to Israeli media reports. No injuries were reported.
  • The Egyptian-controlled crossing between Gaza and Egypt was open in both directions during the entire reporting period, except for three days, allowing a total of 1,178 people to enter and 3,307 to exit Gaza. The crossing has been almost continuously open since 12 May, the longest such period since 2014. According to the Egyptian authorities, as of the beginning of July, Rafah crossing will remain open, except for Fridays and Saturdays, until further notice.

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

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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
2
46
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