Posted on 19 July 2018

Protection of Civilians Report | 3 – 16 July 2018

  • On 14 July, two Palestinian children were killed, and another 33 Palestinians and four Israelis were injured, in one of the most serious escalations in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel since the 2014 hostilities. The Israeli air force targeted dozens of military sites and open areas in Gaza in multiple airstrikes, one of which hit a building in Gaza City; two 14-year-old children, who were staying in a nearby park, were killed and another 31 people, including five children, were injured. Over 50 buildings, including homes, schools and health facilities located next to the targeted sites sustained some damage. Palestinian armed groups fired some 200 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel, the vast majority of which fell in open areas or were intercepted in the air. One of the rockets hit a home in the Israeli town of Sderot, injuring four Israelis, including two children, and another exploded near a synagogue. An informal ceasefire, brokered by Egypt and the UN, was reached on the evening of the same day; however, sporadic airstrikes/shelling and mortar fire continued during the reporting period, injuring three Palestinian men and damaging a house.  
  • Israel tightened the restrictions on the movement of goods via Kerem Shalom, the only operational commercial crossing between Gaza and the outside world, as well as on the access to fishing areas along Gaza’s coast. On 16 July, the Israeli authorities announced a halt on the entry into Gaza of fuel and cooking gas and a reduction of the permissible fishing zone from six to three nautical miles; the import of medical and food supplies may be approved on an individual basis. On 9 July, the Israeli authorities began restricting imports to only food, medical supplies, animal fodder, livestock and fuels, while the entry of all other items, including building materials, furniture, wood, electronics and fabric, was halted, as was the exit of all goods. On average, 192 truckloads per day have entered Gaza since 9 July, less than half the equivalent figure during the first half of 2018. According to the Israeli authorities, the measures were adopted in response to the launching of the incendiary kites and balloons (see below). In a statement issued on 17 July, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt said that “should they continue, these additional restrictions risk triggering a dramatic deterioration in an already fragile situation and desperate humanitarian conditions”.
  • Friday demonstrations and clashes along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza continued on 6 and 13 July, resulting in the killing of three Palestinians and the injury of another 824 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier. In one of the demonstrations on 13 July, Israeli forces shot with live ammunition and killed a 14-year-old child, while another 15-year-old child died during the reporting period of wounds sustained in a demonstration on 14 May. These incidents bring the number of child fatalities in Gaza since the start of demonstrations on 30 March, to 22. Over 43 per cent of all injuries during this period were hospitalized, including 208 people hit by live ammunition. The Israeli soldier was reportedly injured by a grenade thrown by Palestinians in one of the demonstrations on 13 July. For cumulative casualty figures and breakdowns, see here.
  • Palestinians in Gaza have continued launching incendiary kites and balloons into southern Israel, causing extensive damage to agricultural land. According to the Israeli army, since the start of this practice in late April, more than 750 fires have been recorded, an average of over 11 a day, which have burnt some 7,400 acres of land, with damage estimated at more than US$ 2.2 million. No Israeli casualties have been reported in this context.
  • On at least 16 occasions outside of the mass demonstrations, Israeli forces opened fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea in Gaza, resulting in one injury, and forcing farmers and fishers to leave the area. In one incident, Israeli naval forces intercepted a ship heading to Turkey while attempting to break the naval blockade, and detained nine people aboard, of whom seven were released shortly thereafter. On six occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza, and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence.
  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 24 Palestinians, including eight children, during multiple clashes. Most of the injuries (14) were sustained in clashes that erupted in five search and arrest operations, with the largest clashes recorded in Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah). Overall, Israeli forces conducted 100 such operations, arresting over 100 Palestinians, including five children. Another five Palestinians, including a journalist, were injured during clashes in Beit Ummar (Hebron) following the funeral of a Palestinian, whose body was returned after being withheld by the Israeli authorities for 45 days, and a weekly protest against settlement expansion in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya).
  • Citing lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 32 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing 64 Palestinians. The largest incident took place in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar, to the east of Jerusalem, where 19 structures were demolished. A donor-funded water tank provided as humanitarian assistance was also demolished in a herding community in the northern Jordan Valley (Al Farisiya), affecting access to water for 148 people. Also on grounds of lack of permits, the Israeli authorities issued stop-work orders against 17 structures, including four inhabited homes built 30 years ago, in Barta’a ash Sharqiya, a village located in the closed area behind the Barrier in the Jenin governorate.
  • The demolition of the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu was temporarily delayed following the filing of two new petitions to the Israeli High Court of Justice. Like Abu Nuwar, it is among the 18 communities in or around the E1 settlement plan area, which face the risk of forcible transfer. The petitions will be heard no later than 15 August. On 3 July, the Israeli military requisitioned land to begin works on roads leading to the community. Additionally, the area was declared a closed military zone, prohibiting non-residents from entering the community. While not continuously enforced, access to the community for the provision of regular humanitarian relief services, including by the mobile health clinic and mental health teams, has been delayed or prevented on a number of occasions.
  • Eight attacks by Israeli settlers resulted in two Palestinian injuries and extensive damage to agricultural property. One of the Palestinians was shot and injured by Israeli forces, who intervened in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers after the latter raided Asira al Qibliya village (Nablus). In another three incidents in the nearby villages of ‘Urif and Burin, Israeli settlers set fire to agricultural land and to a number of cars, and vandalized at least 360 trees. In recent years, residents of the three villages have suffered from violence and intimidation from Israeli settlers from Yitzhar settlement and its surrounding outposts. Since the beginning of 2018, over 4,700 Palestinian-owned trees were vandalized across the West Bank, reportedly by Israeli settlers, a 70 per cent increase compared to the equivalent period of 2017. In two incidents in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city, settlers physically assaulted and injured one Palestinian and blocked access of an ambulance transporting an elderly patient to her house, forcing her relatives to carry her on their hands. 
  • On at least six occasions, Palestinians threw stones or Molotov cocktails at Israeli-plated vehicles in the West Bank near Hebron, Ramallah and Jerusalem, causing damage to two private vehicles, according to Israeli media reports. No injuries were reported.
  • The Egyptian-controlled crossing between Gaza and Egypt has remained open in both directions throughout the reporting period, except for three days. A total of 3,070 people enter Gaza and 2,706 exited. The crossing has been almost continuously open since 12 May 2018. 

Palestinian casualties in the occupied Palestinian territory (including East Jerusalem)

Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces in the oPt Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces in the oPt
  • Gaza
  • West Bank
 
Israeli casualties by Palestinians in the oPt and Israel
Israeli fatalities by Palestinians in the oPt and Israel

  • Israel
  • oPt

Israeli injuries by Palestinians in the oPt and Israel

 
Demolitions and related displacements

Palestinian-owned structures demolished

Palestinians displaced due to demolitions

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Settler-related violence in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)
 
Israeli military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory (including East Jerusalem)
Israeli military incursions into Gaza*

* excluding the period of hostilities (7 July- 26 August
2014)

Total for two weeks In 2018 (to date) Total 2017
6
49
67

Israeli military search and arrest operations into the West Bank

 
Movements of goods into and out of Gaza through Kerem Shalom Crossing
Truckloads leaving Gaza
 
240
Jan-May 2007 weekly average (before the blockade)

Truckloads entering Gaza

 
2807
Jan-May 2007 weekly average(before the blockade)
 
Movement of People via Rafah crossing
Please note that the figures in this report are subject to changes upon the receipt of additional information.


For more information, please contact us at ochaopt@un.org