Protection of Civilians Report | 7 - 20 March 2017
On 13 March, a 25-year-old Palestinian man stabbed and injured two Israeli policemen in the Old City of East Jerusalem and was subsequently shot and killed by Israeli forces. Following the incident, Israeli forces raided the family house of the perpetrator in the Jabal al Mukabbir neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, detained four family members and destroyed the mourning tent erected. On 15 March, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl crashed the car she was driving into the metal pillars protecting a settler bus stop at the Gush Etzion junction (Hebron) and was shot and severely injured by Israeli soldiers; no additional injuries were reported.
On 17 March, Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy during clashes that erupted next to Al ‘Arrub refugee camp (Hebron); according to Israeli military sources, the shooting took place in response to the throwing of Molotov cocktails. Additionally, 43 Palestinians, 11 of them children, were injured by Israeli forces in multiple clashes in the West Bank (41 injuries) and Gaza (two injuries). Most of the injuries occurred during clashes in the context of weekly protests against the Barrier in Ni’lin (Ramallah) and against access restrictions in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya); multiple search and arrest operations; a demonstration near Beituniya checkpoint; and at a funeral of the Palestinian killed in Al'Arrub Refugee Camp. In the latter, one Israeli soldier was reportedly injured by a stone.
A search and arrest operation carried out by Palestinian security forces in Balata refugee camp (Nablus) on 20 March triggered violent clashes with a group of armed residents, resulting in the killing of a member of the security forces and the injury of four people. In recent months, this camp has been the site of internal Palestinian tensions and violence in the context of law enforcement activities by the Palestinian authorities. On 12 March, 11 Palestinians, including a woman, were injured by Palestinian security forces during clashes that erupted in a protest in Al Bireh (Ramallah).
On 16 and 18 March, Israeli forces attacked a number of alleged military facilities and open areas across the Gaza Strip, resulting in damage to the targeted sites. The attacks followed the firing of two projectiles by a Palestinian armed group, which landed in an open area in southern Israel, causing no casualties or damage. Another projectile, reportedly shot towards Israel, fell short and landed inside Gaza.
Also in Gaza, on at least 34 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning or direct fire into the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea. While no injuries were reported, the work of farmers and fishermen was reportedly disrupted. On another two occasions, Israeli forces arrested four Palestinian civilians, including three children, allegedly after they attempted to cross illegally into Israel through the Israeli-controlled perimeter fence enclosing Gaza. Also, on two separate occasions, Israeli forces carried out levelling and digging inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence.
Israeli authorities demolished nine Palestinian-owned structures on the grounds of lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to acquire. Seven of these structures, none of which was inhabited, were in East Jerusalem, and the remaining two structures, including one home, were in an Area C community (Furush Beit Dajan in Nablus). Overall, three Palestinians were displaced and 43 others affected.
Also citing lack of building permits, Israeli authorities distributed demolition and stop work orders against 11 residential structures in the Area Cparts of four villages (Kafr ad Dik in Salfit; Al Baqa'a and Deir Samit in Hebron; and Al Khadr in Bethlehem). Additionally, the Israeli authorities renewed the requisition orders for more than 300 dunums of land taken in the past for the construction of the Barrier in the Tulkarm governorate, and issued an evacuation order against a plot of land cultivated with over 50 olive saplings in Immatin village (Qalqiliya), on grounds the land was designated as state land.
Two Palestinians were injured, and significant property damage was recorded in various incidents involving Israeli settlers. These include the physical assault and injury of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in the French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem, and a 29-year-old Palestinian woman near Beitin village (Ramallah). Vandalism of Palestinian property was reported in seven separate incidents, including damage to more than 240 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings in As Sawiya (Nablus), At Tuwani (Hebron) and Al Khadr (Bethlehem); damage to two Palestinian– plated vehicles in stone-throwing incidents near Mikhmas junction (Jerusalem) and Hebron city; and damage to an agriculture structure in Qusra village (Nablus).
One Israeli settler was injured and several vehicles damaged in at least 13 incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli-plated vehicles, near Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem, according to Israeli media reports.
The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was exceptionally opened for two days in both directions, allowing 1,473 Palestinians to leave and 1,370 to return to the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza, over 20,000 people, including humanitarian cases, are registered and waiting to cross.