Protection of Civilians Report | 10-30 January 2023
This report exceptionally covers three weeks.
Highlights from the reporting period
During the reporting period, 31 Palestinians, six Israelis and a foreign national were killed and 441 Palestinians and nine Israelis, including one member of Israeli forces, were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Israeli forces killed ten Palestinians, including two children and one woman, and injured 26 others with live ammunition during an Israeli forces’ operation in Jenin refugee camp. This is the highest number of Palestinians killed in a single operation in the West Bank since OCHA started recording data on casualties in 2005. The same day an eleventh Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces in a protest against the Jenin operation in Ar Ram town (Jerusalem).On 26 January, Israeli forces, raided the camp. According to the Israeli Military, cited by Israeli media, the operation was to arrest Palestinians suspected of planning attacks against Israelis. During the operation, Israeli forces surrounded a building and exchanged fire with Palestinians, killing three Palestinian men and arresting another, all claimed by Islamic Jihad as affiliates. Another three Palestinian men, who both the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad claimed as affiliates, were shot and killed in exchanges of fire with Israeli forces. Additionally, three Palestinians, including two children (16 and 17 years-old) and a 61-year-old Palestinian woman were shot and killed with live ammunition by Israeli forces while reportedly not posing any immediate threat. During the operation, Israeli forces fired tear gas in the vicinity of Jenin hospital, reportedly impacting the pediatric unit, and necessitating the evacuation of patients, including children. Several apartments were destroyed in the residential building where three Palestinians were killed, when Israeli forces fired at it with shoulder fired missiles, resulting in the displacement of three people. No Israeli soldiers were reported injured in the operation. On 29 January, a Palestinian man, claimed as an affiliate by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, succumbed to wounds sustained from Israeli gunfire in Jenin refugee camp on 26 January. Following the operation, Palestinians across the West Bank held demonstrations, where in some cases participants threw stones and fireworks at Israeli Forces, and Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and live ammunition. One Palestinian man was killed near Ar Ram town (Jerusalem) during a protest against the Jenin operation and at least 147 others were injured (see below).
A Palestinian shot and killed six Israelis, including a child, and a foreign national (a total of seven fatalities) in an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem; and five Israelis were injured in this and another Palestinian shooting attack in East Jerusalem.On 27 January, a Palestinian man shot and killed six Israelis, including a 14-year-old child, and one foreign national, and injured three others in the Israeli settlement of Neve Ya’acov in East Jerusalem. The attacker was subsequently shot and killed by Israeli police. This is the deadliest Palestinian attack on Israelis since 2008.On 28 January, a 13-year-old Palestinian child shot and injured two Israelis in Silwan, East Jerusalem, before being shot and injured. Two additional shooting incidents were reported: one near Almog, an Israeli settlement south of Jericho and a second one at an Israeli bus on Road 60 near the settlement of Karmei Tsur, north of Hebron. No injuries but damage to the bus was reported. In total at least three Israeli-plated vehicles were damaged by stones or Molotov cocktails thrown by people known or believed to be Palestinians on West Bank roads, in three additional separate incidents.
Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians, including one boy, and two other Palestinians died of wounds sustained during search-and-arrest operations and other Israeli forces operations across the West Bank.On 11 January, Israeli forces shot and injured with live ammunition a Palestinian man, who later died of his wounds, during an exchange of fire following an under-cover Israeli army unit raid on Balata refugee camp (Nablus). On 12 January, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces while trying to stop them from arresting his son during a search-and-arrest operation in Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem). On 16 January, the Israeli forces raided Ad Duheisha refugee camp (Bethlehem), triggering confrontations between Palestinians who threw stones and Molotov cocktails and Israeli forces who fired live ammunition and tear gas cannisters; as a result, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by live ammunition. On 19 January, Israeli forces carried out an operation in Jenin refugee camp, where they exchanged fire with Palestinians; two Palestinians were killed, including a teacher who was trying to help one of the Palestinians injured during the operation. During the same operation, an Israeli soldier was reportedly injured by an explosive device thrown by a Palestinian, and three Palestinians were arrested. On 12 January, Israeli forces raided Qabatiya town (Jenin), where they exchanged fire with Palestinians; two Palestinian men were shot and killed. Additionally, on 14 and 25 January, a Palestinian man succumbed to wounds sustained on 2 January by Israeli forces in Kafr Dan (Jenin) and another one was killed with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in Shu’fat refugee camp (Jerusalem) during confrontations between protestors and Israeli forces; both occurred during punitive demolitions of the homes of two Palestinians who had killed Israeli soldiers before being killed themselves.
Israeli forces killed another seven Palestinians, including one child, in separate incidents of which some were at Israeli military checkpoints near Ramallah, Qalqilya and Hebron.On 14 January, Israeli forces chased, shot and killed two Palestinian men near Al Fandaqumiya (Jenin) in their vehicle; according to the Israeli military, they had opened fire at soldiers near Jaba’ (Jenin). On 15 January, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at a flying checkpoint deployed at the entrance of Silwad (Ramallah); according to eyewitnesses, he was shot from close distance after exiting his car to check on his son, who was pepper-sprayed by Israeli forces. According to the Israeli media, Israeli forces made initial allegations that the man had thrown stones or tried to take a soldier’s weapon, but subsequently admitted that the killing may have been unjustified. On 17 January, a Palestinian man opened fire at soldiers positioned at a military checkpoint near the entrance of Halhul (Hebron), before being shot and killed. According to Israeli forces, who have withheld his body, the man was suspected of shooting at a bus on 15 January. During the incident, two Palestinian bystanders were shot and injured with live ammunition by Israeli forces. In another incident, on 30 January, at Al Salaymeh military checkpoint in the H2 area of Hebron city, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man, who, according to Israeli forces, tried to escape after driving over a soldier’s foot. In two separate incidents near Kedumim Israeli settlement east of Qalqiliya: on 25 January, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian, who, according to Israeli forces, tried to stab Israeli soldiers positioned at a checkpoint; on 29 January, an Israeli settlement guard shot and killed a Palestinian man, who, according to Israeli forces, was spotted near the settlement with a pistol. No Israeli injuries were reported in any of the five incidents. On 27 January, a Palestinian child (16-years-old) succumbed to wounds inflicted by Israeli forces gunfire on 25 January during a Palestinian demonstration held in Silwan area of East Jerusalem in protest against a punitive demolition in Shu’fat refugee camp (more details below).
Israeli settlers shot and killed two Palestinians who either stabbed or attempted to stab Israeli settlers in newly established settlement outposts in Hebron and Ramallah.On 11 January, a Palestinian man stabbed and injured an Israeli settler in a new outpost established on land belonging to Palestinians from As Samu’ (Hebron), before being shot and killed by another settler. On 21 January, another Palestinian man was shot and killed by an Israeli settler in a newly established outpost near Kafr Ni’ma (Ramallah), in an attempted stabbing attack as shown in video footage that was published on Israeli media. The bodies of both men have been withheld by the Israeli authorities.
During the reporting period, 422 Palestinians, including at least 49 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank, of whom 74 (18%) were shot with live ammunition. Of the injuries, 249 (59 per cent) were recorded in various demonstrations, including in demonstrations against settlement expansion and settlement-related access restrictions near Kafr Qaddum (Qalqilya), Beit Dajan, Beita and Jurish (all in Nablus) and other demonstrations against the Jenin operation that led to ten Palestinian fatalities (see above). In another seven separate incidents, all in the Nablus governorate, 95 Palestinians were injured following the entry of Israeli settlers into Palestinian communities, accompanied by Israeli forces. Another 70 injuries were in search-and-arrest operations and other operations carried out by Israeli forces; three occurred during three demolition incidents (see below); five when Israeli forces fired live ammunition toward Palestinians trying to cross through breaches in the Barrier in Tulkarm, Jenin and Qalqilya to reach their workplace in Israel. Overall, 288 Palestinians were treated for teargas inhalation, 74 were shot with live ammunition, 45 were injured with rubber bullets, six were physically assaulted, one was hit with a sound grenade, four with teargas canisters, and four with shrapnel.
Israeli settlers injured 18 Palestinians, including at least one child, in nine incidents, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers caused damage to Palestinian property in another 42 instances (in addition to those injured by Israeli forces in the abovementioned settler-related incidents). On 27 January, five Palestinians were shot and injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli settlers who opened fire on a group of Palestinians on Road 60 near the entrance of Beita (Nablus). On 11 and 28 January, Israeli settlers stoned Palestinian-plated vehicle on the main road near Huwwara and Qusra (both in Nablus), injuring three Palestinians. On 13 January, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian hikers near Al Mu’arrajat East community (Ramallah) with sticks and batons, injuring two women. On 18 January, Israeli settlers injured two Palestinian herders and attacked their livestock near Khirbet Bir Al Idd community of Masafer Yatta (Hebron). On 20 January, two Palestinians and one settler were injured as Israeli settlers and Palestinians threw stones at each other after the settlers installed caravans to take over Palestinian-owned lands in Jurish village (Nablus). On 28 January, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian residents with stones in Qusra; as a result, two Palestinians were injured and damage to two vehicles and one house was reported. In another two separate incidents on 27 and 29 January, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians travelling on roads near Salfit and Huwwara, physically assaulted and sprayed pepper gas injuring two men and causing damage to their vehicles. In seventeen other incidents, more than 1,500 trees were vandalized on Palestinian lands some of which near Israeli settlements, including in areas where Palestinian access requires approval from the Israeli military (commonly referred to as “prior coordination”). In another thirteen occasions, people known or believed to be settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles, damaging at least twenty-one of them. Other Palestinian property was damaged in twelve incidents in or near Al Ganoub and A Seefer (both in Hebron), Kisan (Bethlehem), Ras ‘Ein al ‘Auja (Jericho) and Beit Sira, Al Mazra'a al Qibliya, Turmus'ayya (all in Ramallah); these included agricultural structures, tractors, crops, and livestock, according to eyewitnesses and local community sources.
The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 88 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including 21 homes, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. Three of the structures were provided by donors as humanitarian assistance. As a result, 99 Palestinians, including 54 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of more than 21,000 others were affected. Fifty-five of the structures were in Area C, including five structures demolished based on Military Order 1797, which provides only a 96-hour notice and very limited grounds for legally challenging a demolition. The remaining twenty-six structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including eight that were destroyed by their owners, to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities. In Area B of the West Bank, the Israeli authorities sealed off two under-construction artisan water wells, one in Habla and another in Kaqr Laqif (both in Qalqiliya); both wells would have supplied the main drinking water and irrigation source for at least 1,500 Palestinian families in four communities.
On 25 and 28 January, respectively, Israeli forces raided Shu’fat refugee camp and Ras al ‘Amud, both in East Jerusalem, where forces demolished, or sealed two multistorey homes of the families whose members killed an Israeli soldier on 19 October 2022, and six Israelis, and a foreign national, on 27 January 2023. As a result, two families, comprising 13 people, including five children were displaced. During one of the demolitions in Shu’fat refugee camp, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who shot live ammunition at Palestinians; one Palestinian was killed (reported above). Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli authorities demolished or sealed four homes and one other structure on punitive grounds, compared with eleven in all of 2022 and three in 2021. These include three structures in Area B, and two in East Jerusalem. These punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment, prohibited under international law and often trigger confrontations and clashes between the Palestinian communities and Israeli forces, resulting in casualties.
A donor-funded school is at an imminent risk of demolition in southern Hebron. On 18 January, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli authorities’ plan to demolish the school may proceed starting 28 January. The donor-funded school is serving 47 children in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khashm Al Karem, located in an area designated as “Firing Zone 917” in southern Hebron.
Closures across the West Bank continue to disrupt the access of thousands of Palestinians to livelihoods and services. Following a shooting attack near Almog, an Israeli settlement south of Jericho, on 28 January, where no injuries or damages were reported, Israeli forces deployed flying checkpoints at all the entrances/exits of Jericho city, and later closed off all the five access points to and from Jericho City for one full day (28 January). Since then, five checkpoints have been erected, including concrete blocks, and are staffed by Israeli forces at the main entrances of the town. Extensive searches have been taking place at the checkpoints, primarily when leaving Jericho city. This has restricted the movement of about 50,000 people, forcing residents to use alternative dirt roads and long detours to access clinics, schools, and markets. In another two separate incidents in the H2 area of Hebron city, on 23 and 29 January, Israeli forces closed off the As Salaymeh (Checkpoint 160) for several hours during school time. This has limited the movement of about 1,200 residents of the area and affected the access of about 300 students from eleven nearby schools. In one of these occasions, the Israeli forces applied age restrictions and allowed children below 13 years old to cross the checkpoint. On 15 January, the Israeli army blocked with earth mounds and concrete blocks the entrance of Khirbet ‘Atuf community in Tubas, obstructing the movement of at least 120 Palestinians, reportedly in response to Palestinian stone-throwing at Israeli-plated vehicles.
In the Gaza Strip, on at least 56 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions; with no injuries or damage reported. On one occasion, Israeli military bulldozers leveled lands inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence east of Khan Younis.
Also in the Gaza Strip, on 25 and 26 January, Palestinian armed groups fired a number of rockets and projectiles towards southern Israel; rockets were intercepted or fell in open areas in Gaza and Israel. Israeli forces launched a series of airstrikes reportedly targeting military sites belonging to armed groups in Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported on both sides, but damages have resulted to the targeted sites in Gaza.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.
31Palestinians killed by Israeli forces
422Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces in the oPt
7Israelis (including foreigners) killed by Palestinians
9Israelis injured by Palestinians
91Palestinian-owned structures demolished
112Palestinians displaced due to demolitions
58Attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank
233Israeli military search and arrest operations in the West Bank