Protection of Civilians Report | 21 November – 4 December 2017
On 30 November, a 48-year-old male Palestinian farmer was shot and killed by an Israeli settler, who was accompanying a group of settler youths hikingin an agricultural area near Qusra village (Nablus). While Palestinian eyewitnesses reported that the shooting was preceded by a verbal altercation between the settler group and the farmer, the Israeli media reported that the shooter opened fire in response to Palestinian stone throwing. The body of the farmer was withheld for autopsy by the Israeli authorities for two days. Immediately after the killing, residents of Qusra gathered at the site and threw stones at the settlers, who were hiding in a cave and responded with gunfire, resulting in the injury of one Palestinian by live ammunition and two settlers by stones. The Israeli police have opened a criminal investigation into the case.
Later on the same day, in two separate incidents, another 34 Palestinians in Qusra and ‘Asira al Qibliya villages (Nablus) were injured during clashes with armed Israeli settlers and soldiers. One of the injuries was caused by live ammunition, 15 by rubber bullets, 15 by tear gas inhalation, all by Israeli soldiers, and three by stones thrown by settlers. Another three Palestinians were physically assaulted and injured by settlers in two separate incidents in East Jerusalem and in Susiya village (Hebron).
Additionally, 36 Palestinians, seven of them children, were injured by Israeli forces during clashes across the West Bank. 19 of these injuries occurred in Qusra village on 2 December, following the funeral of the abovementioned farmer, and two in Nablus city, following the entrance of Israeli settlers to the Joseph’s Tomb site. Most of the other injuries were reported during search-and-arrest operations, with the largest clashes occurring in the Hebron governorate; during the weekly demonstration against settlement expansion and access restrictions in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) and An Nabi Saleh (Ramallah); and prior to a punitive demolition in Qabatiya village (Jenin).
Three Palestinian civilians, including one woman, were injured during Israeli military attacks on a number of military positions in Gaza city and northern Gaza on 30 November, which resulted in some damage to the targeted sites. The attacks were reportedly in response to the firing of 12 mortar shells by a Palestinian armed group earlier that day. The mortar shells landed in Israel, resulting in no injuries or damage.
Also in Gaza, Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinian children with live ammunition, during clashes that erupted in two protests near the perimeter fence. Additionally, on at least 35 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire towards civilians present in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea, with no injuries reported, although the work of farmers and fishermen was disrupted. One Palestinian child was injured and arrested, and another child was arrested, while they were trying to enter Israel through the perimeter fence in the northern Gaza area.
The Israeli authorities demolished a house in Qabatiya village (Jenin) on punitive grounds, displacing five people, including three children. The targeted house belonged to one of two Palestinians, currently imprisoned, who killed an Israeli settler on 4 October 2017. Since the beginning of 2017, nine homes have been demolished or sealed on punitive grounds, displacing 49 Palestinians.
Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished 13 structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing 24 Palestinians, including 12 children, and affecting an additional 78 people. Eight of the targeted structures were in Area C, including three belonging to the herding communities of Al Jiftlik-Abu al 'Ajaj and Al Jiftlik-ash-Shuneh (both in Jericho) and in Halaweh community, located in Firing Zone 918 in southern Hebron. The remaining four structures were in East Jerusalem, in the neighbourhoods of Shu’fat, Beit Hanina, Al ‘Isawiya and Umm Tuba.
On 4 December, the Israeli authorities informed the Israeli Supreme Court of their intention to demolish 46 structures in Susiya village (Hebron). Forty people, including 14 children, are expected to be displaced, while all 160 of its residents in Area C are at heightened risk of forcible transfer. The whole community (327 residents) will be affected by the demolition of the 46 structures, which include eight homes, two health clinics, 12 rooms used for the school, another two livelihood structures and a solar panel system. According to the authorities, these structures were erected without the required permits, in contravention of a court injunction from 2014.
Five incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli vehicles were reported by the Israeli media, near Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, with at least two resulting in damage to vehicles.
During the reporting period, the Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing opened in one direction for one day only, allowing 174 people to cross into Gaza. According to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza, over 20,000 people, including humanitarian cases, are registered and waiting to cross Rafah. Despite the closure for the movement of travellers, the Rafah Crossing was opened for nine days to allow Egyptian imported fuel to enter for the Gaza Power Plant.