Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 14 - 20 June 2016

Latest developments

  • On 21 June, Israeli forces opened fire at two Palestinian vehicles, killing a 15-year-old boy and injuring three others, including two children, who were on their way home in Beit ‘Ur at Tahta village (Ramallah). The incident followed the injury of three people travelling in an Israeli-plated car that was hit by stones; the Israeli military confirmed that the Palestinians killed and injured were not involved in that incident. The Israeli authorities have announced the opening of a criminal investigation.
  • On 21 June, in Hajja village (Qalqiliya), Israeli forces demolished the family home of the perpetrator of a stabbing attack on March 2016, in which a foreign national, as well as the perpetrator, were killed; five people, including two children, were displaced as a result.

Weekly highlights

  • In Area C, the Israeli authorities demolished seven structures for lack of Israeli-issued building permits in the Hebron governorate, five of them in Susiya village, displacing 19 Palestinians, including 12 children. Earlier this month, the Israeli authorities announced a suspension of demolitions for lack of building permits during the month of Ramadan that started on 6 June, except regarding structures that they determine pose a security threat.
  • On 14 June, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition against the punitive demolition of the homes of two Palestinians from Qalandiya Refugee Camp, who perpetrated a stabbing attack in East Jerusalem in December 2015.  In November 2015, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, called upon the Israeli authorities to halt punitive demolitions, which are a form of collective punishment, illegal under international law.
  • Twelve Palestinian communities in the Salfit, Nablus and Jenin governorates reported that over the past two weeks the Israeli water company, Mekorot, has reduced the amounts of water supplied to them. The over 53,000 people residing in these areas have been forced to rely to a larger extent on expensive tankered water to meet their domestic and livelihood needs. The circumstances of this reduction remain disputed. A protest against this situation took place on 8 June in several of the affected communities.
  • In two separate incidents, the Israeli authorities confiscated two privately-owned tractors, a water pump and a water tank, supplying water to three Palestinian households in the northern Jordan Valley, citing lack of the required permits, in one case, and presence in a closed area for military training, in the other. Also during the week, two water collection pools, an under-construction kindergarten and six uninhabited residential structures in Area C were served with stop-work and demolition orders.
  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 30 Palestinians, ten of them children, during clashes that erupted in the course of protests in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) and Ayda refugee camp (Bethlehem), as well as during five search and arrest operations, three of them in the Qalqiliya governorate. On 19 June, a 22-year-old, mentally ill Palestinian man died due to injuries sustained from Israeli forces during clashes in Sa’ir village (Hebron) on 4 May 2016. Also this week, a 51-year-old Palestinian man was physically assaulted in unclear circumstances and was hospitalised for medical treatment.
  • In the Gaza Strip, on 22 occasions during the week, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinians present in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea, with no injuries reported. In one of the incidents, four fishing boats were seized and taken into Israel and ten Palestinian fishermen were detained; of them eight were released after few hours.
  • Palestinian security forces injured a 15-year-old Palestinian child with live ammunition in the head, in clashes with a group of armed Palestinians in Kafr ‘Aqab village (Jerusalem), during a search operation. There were two additional armed clashes between Palestinian security forces and Palestinian residents in refugee camps in Ramallah and Jenin; no injuries were reported.
  • A 23-year-old Palestinian was injured when an explosive remnant of war (ERW) detonated in an agricultural area in Ash-Shuja’iyeh area, east of Gaza City. Since the July-August 2014 hostilities, 13 Palestinians were killed and 108 were injured by ERW in the Gaza strip.
  • On the second Friday of Ramadan (17 June), around 73,000 Palestinians holding West Bank IDs were allowed into occupied East Jerusalem to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque compound. Males over 45 and below 12 years of age, and females of all ages were allowed to cross without permits. The Israeli authorities are still suspending some 83,000 permits issued to West Bank Palestinians on the occasion of the month of Ramadan, following the attack in 8 June in Tel Aviv.
  • An Israeli settler reportedly shot and injured a Palestinian man in Huwwara village (Nablus) while he was standing at a road junction waiting for public transportation. Additionally, two stone-throwing incidents by Israeli settlers were reported in the Ramallah and Nablus areas, resulting in the injury of two Palestinians and damage to their vehicles.
  • Four Israeli settlers, including a child, were injured due to stone-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli vehicles in Huwwara village, and near Burin (Nablus) and Jaba’ village (Jerusalem), according to Israeli media reports. Following the former incident, Israeli forces closed four roads in the area for at least two days, and intensified searches at checkpoints. In another incident, Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at houses in the East Talpiot settlement in East Jerusalem, resulting in no damage; in response, Israeli forces closed with concrete blocks a road in the nearby Jabal al Muakkbir neighborhood. Another five stone- throwing and Molotov cocktail-throwing incidents by Palestinians were reported against Israeli-plated vehicles, of which two resulted in damage.
  • The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the reporting period. Since the beginning of 2016, the crossing has been partially opened for only nine days. Over 30,000 people are registered and waiting to cross according to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza.