Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 21 - 27 June 2016
On 30 June, a Palestinian youth stabbed and killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the settlement of Kiryat Arba’ (Hebron), and was subsequently shot and killed by the settlement’s security guards.
Three Palestinian men were killed and 14 injured over the course of an armed clash between Palestinian families in the West Bank town of Ya’bad (Jenin) on 29 June; several houses and vehicles were set to fire or otherwise damaged.
On 29 June, unknown gunmen killed two members of the Palestinian security forces and severely injured a Palestinian woman in Nablus city in unclear circumstances.
On 28 June, the Egyptian authorities announced that the Rafah crossing will exceptionally open from 29 June to 4 July (except for 1 July) in both directions for humanitarian cases and pre-registered individuals.
In a ramming attack on 24 June, an 18-year-old Palestinian woman hit an Israeli plated car near the entrance of Kiryat Arba’ settlement (Hebron), injuring two settlers; the woman was subsequently shot dead by Israeli forces. Following the attack, Israeli forces blocked or deployed checkpoints at the main entrances to Bani Naim village (Hebron), where the perpetrator of the attack lived, for three consecutive days. In the first half of 2016, Israeli forces killed 54 Palestinian suspected perpetrators of attacks, including six women and two girls, compared to 89 in the last quarter of 2015. The circumstances of many incidents have given rise to concerns over excessive use of force.
On 21 June, Israeli forces killed a 15-year-old Palestinian child and injured four others, including two children, after opening fire at two Palestinian vehicles en route to 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 handed over the boy’s corpse some 40 hours after the end of the incident and announced the opening of a criminal investigation.
On two occasions during the week, Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces at the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem, resulting in the injury of 26 Palestinians, including three children. The clashes followed the entry to the compound of Israeli settlers and other groups, which according to Palestinian authorities contravenes the status quo applied in past years during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.
Another 30 Palestinians, nine of them children, were injured by Israeli forces during clashes in other West Bank areas, including during the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), prior to a punitive demolition, and during search and arrest operations. In total this week, Israeli forces conducted 89 search and arrest operations and arrested 112
On 21 June, in Hajja (Qalqiliya), Israeli forces punitively demolished the family home of the Palestinian perpetrator of a stabbing attack in March 2016, displacing five people, including two children. Palestinians trying to prevent the demolition clashed with Israeli forces, resulting in nine injuries (included above). Since the start of 2016, the Israeli authorities have demolished 19 Palestinian homes on punitive grounds, compared to 25 in the second half of 2015. On 25 June 2016, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA),called upon the Israeli authorities to put an end to the practice of punitive demolitions in the West Bank.
For the fourth consecutive week, thirteen Palestinian communities in the Salfit, Nablus and Jenin governorates reported that the Israeli water company, Mekorot, has reduced the amounts of water supplied to them by 50-70 per cent. 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.
In the community of Al Baq’a, located in Area C next to Hebron city, the Israeli authorities dismantled water irrigation pipes, on the grounds that they were illegally connected to the network; as part of the incident, ten dunums of cultivated land were destroyed. Also in Area C in Al-Khadr town (Bethlehem), three residential structures and two agriculture rooms were served with stop-work orders, affecting five Palestinian families.
In the Gaza Strip, on seven 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. On some of the occasions, the work of Palestinian farmers and fishermen was disrupted.
On 26 June, Israel reduced the fishing zone along the southern Gaza coast from 9 to 6 nautical miles. On 3 April 2016, Israel had expanded the fishing area there to 9 nautical miles, while retaining the 6 nautical mile limit along the northern coast. The temporary expansion had led to a significant increase in the quantity and quality of the fishing catch, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture. Over 35,000 Palestinians depend on the fishing industry for their livelihoods.
On the third Friday of Ramadan (24 June), around 100,000 Palestinians holding West Bank IDs were allowed into East Jerusalem to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque. 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 on 8 June in Tel Aviv. Three Palestinians were injured during the period whilst trying to jump over the Barrier to attend the prayers in East
In two separate incidents in As Sawiya (Nablus) and near Kafr Malik and Al Mughayyir (Ramallah), around 280 Palestinian-owned trees and dozens of dunums of cultivated land were set on fire and damaged, reportedly by Israeli settlers from Shilo and nearby settlements outposts. In recent years, these settlements have been a source of systematic violence and harassment, undermining the livelihoods and physical security of Palestinians living in the surrounding villages. Also this week, a Palestinian man was physically assaulted and injured by a group of Israelis while working in Ramot settlement in East Jerusalem. Additionally, Israeli settlers’ raided Asira al Qibliya village (Nablus), stealing and vandalizing some property, the latter with ‘price tag’ graffiti.
Two incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians were reported against Israeli-plated vehicles travelling near Hizma (Jerusalem) and Beit Sira (Ramallah) villages, resulting in damage to two vehicles. In five additional incidents, Palestinians threw Molotov-cocktails at Israeli-plated vehicles, near Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, with no damage reported.
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.