Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 19 - 25 July 2016

Latest developments

  • On 27 July, during a search and arrest operation in Surif village (Hebron), reportedly following fire exchange, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a shooting attack on 1 July, which killed an Israeli settler. During the operation, the forces shelled the three-story building where the suspect was hiding, destroying it entirely and displacing three families.       
  • On 26 July, the Israeli authorities demolished 15 structures in a section of Qalandia village that falls within the Israeli-declared municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but is separated from the rest of the city by the Barrier, due to the lack of building permits; six people were displaced and almost 180 were otherwise affected as a result.

Weekly highlights

  • On 19 July, Israeli forces (reportedly border police officers) shot with a rubber bullet and killed a 12-year-old Palestinian boy during clashes near the northern entrance of Ar Ram town (Jerusalem). Since 12 July, Ar Ram has been a flashpoint for military operations and clashes. This incident brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2016 in the oPt, to 76, including 22 children, of whom 18 were killed during protests and clashes.
  • Israeli forces injured 74 Palestinians, including 15 children, during multiple clashes in the West Bank. The majority of the clashes were recorded in protests in Abu Dis town (Jerusalem) held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and in the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), resulting in 46 injuries. Other clashes were recorded during search and arrest operations, the largest of which took place in Jayyus (Qalqiliya), resulting in ten injuries. Overall, 135 search and arrest operations were recorded during the week and 150 Palestinians arrested, with the Jerusalem governorate accounting for the highest portion of arrests (21 per cent).
  • On at least ten occasions, Israeli forces opened warning and direct fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) by land and sea in Gaza, resulting in the injury of one Palestinian farmer who was working on his land near the perimeter fence. In one incident in the ARA by sea, four fishermen, including one 17-year-old child, were detained; in one case, the fisherman was  forced to swim to an Israeli military boat. On three occasions, Israeli forces carried out land-levelling and excavation operations in the ARA by land. This disrupted the livelihoods of hundreds of farmers whose lands are near the fence as well as of fishermen.
  • In four incidents in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished seven Palestinian structures due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing one person and otherwise affecting another 71, including 19 children.
  • On 20 July, in Duma village (Nablus), unknown perpetrators set a Palestinian house on fire. Although the residents managed to escape, the father was overcome by smoke and treated by a medical team. As a result of the damage, the five family members, including three children, were displaced. Two similar arson attacks were carried out by Israeli settlers in Duma village in July 2015 and March 2016, the first of which killed an infant and both his parents. The Palestinian and Israeli authorities opened separate investigations into the incident.
  • The Israeli military opened up for Palestinian traffic eight key junctions across the Hebron governorate that had been blocked since the beginning of the month, following two Palestinian attacks in the area. The opening has significantly eased the access of people to services and livelihoods. On the other hand, a number of closures imposed on the same occasion have remained in place, forcing residents to rely on long detours, with the villages of Ad Dahriyya, Karma, Deir Razeh and Ar Ramadin (approx. 44,500 people) being among the most affected.
  • Armed Israeli settlers raided an agricultural area next to Al Khadr town and El’azar settlement (Bethlehem), shot in the air and forced Palestinian farmers cultivating the land to leave the area; one of the farmers was physically assaulted and injured during the incident. In two additional incidents in the same area, an Israeli vehicle was shot at and another stoned, reportedly by Palestinians, resulting in damage to the vehicles.
  • On 19 July, a man was sentenced to death, and two previously-issued death sentences were upheld by a Palestinian military court in the Gaza Strip, all on the grounds of “collaboration with Israel”.
  • Approximately 600,000 people in Gaza were affected by a significant reduction in the supply of running water. This reduction was triggered by the increase in scheduled power cuts since 14 July, with the partial shutdown of Gaza’s sole power plant.
  • 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 fourteen days. Over 30,000 people with urgent needs are registered and waiting to cross, according to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza.