Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 26 July – 1 August 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a 31-year-old Palestinian man and injured a 21-year-old Palestinian woman over the course of two separate, alleged stabbing attempts at Huwwara (Nablus) and Qalandiya (Jerusalem) checkpoints, respectively. No Israeli soldier was injured in either of these incidents. Since the beginning of 2016, 60 Palestinians, including 16 children, and 11 Israelis, including a girl, were killed in attacks and suspected attacks carried out by West Bank Palestinians. Some of these incidents have raised concern about possible excessive use of force and extra-judicial executions by Israeli forces.
Israeli forces killed a 29-year-old Palestinian man in an exchange of fire during asearch and arrestoperation targeting him in Surif village (Hebron). During the operation, Israeli forces used shells and bulldozers to destroy a three-story building where the man was hiding, displacing three families of eight people, including three children. Another five Palestinians, including two children, were also injured during the incident and six Palestinians, including one woman, were arrested. The Palestinian killed was suspected of killing an Israeli settler and injuring his wife and two children in a shooting attack on 1 July.
Clashes with Israeli forces across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) resulted in the injury of 67 Palestinians, including 14 children. Two of the injuries occurred next to the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip and the rest in the West Bank. Most clashes erupted during search and arrest operations, including the above-mentioned incident in Surif village, as well as during a protest in the town of Abu Dis (Jerusalem), in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Overall, Israeli forces conducted over 100 search and arrest operations in the West Bank, and arrested around 150 Palestinians.
On at least seven occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinian farmers and fishermen in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea in Gaza; no injuries or damage were reported. In two of the incidents in the ARA at sea, eight fishermen were detained and two boats were confiscated; the fishermen were forced to take off their clothes and swim to Israeli military boats.
Twenty Palestinian-owned structures were demolished in East Jerusalem due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 17 people and otherwise affecting another 221. The largest incident took place on 26 July 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; only one of the 15 structures demolished in this incident was inhabited. This brings the number of Palestinian-owned structures demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2016 to 114, an over 40 per cent increase compared to the entire 2015 (80).
No demolitions were recorded during the week in Area C, however, the Israeli authorities issued multiple demolition and stop-work orders for lack of building permits, which are near impossible to obtain. Six of the targeted structures, including two water wells and one agricultural road, were funded by international donors in Qusra village (Nablus). In the same community, three plots of land that have recently been rehabilitated and cultivated received eviction orders, claiming the land is designated as “state land”.
Israeli settlers threw empty glass bottles at a Palestinian-plated vehicle near Ariel settlement (Salfit), injuring a 20-year-old youth. The Israeli media reported six separate incidents of Molotov-cocktail or stone-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli-plated vehicles and at military towers in the Ramallah and Hebron governorates, none of which resulted injuries or damage.
The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing remained closed in both directions. Since the beginning of 2016, the crossing has been partially opened for 14 days. Over 30,000 people are registered and waiting to cross, according to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza.