Posted on 30 April 2020

Protection of Civilians Report | 14 - 27 April 2020

Biweekly highlights

  • On 22 April, two ramming attacks by Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints resulted in the injury of three Israelis and the killing of one of the perpetrators. In one of the incidents, a 25-year-old Palestinian man drove his car into a Border Police officer staffing the Wadi an Nar checkpoint (Jerusalem), which controls all Palestinian traffic between the southern and northern West Bank, and injured him. The attacker stepped out of the vehicle and attempted to stab the officer, before being shot and killed by Israeli forces. In the other incident, according to Israeli media, a Palestinian-plated car drove at an ad-hoc checkpoint near the Israeli settlement of Ateret (Ramallah), injuring another Border Police officer and an Israeli civilian, and fled the area. 
  • Thirty-nine Palestinians were injured in multiple clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank. Twenty of these injuries were treated due to tear gas inhalation, eight were hit by rubber bullets, three by live ammunition and eight were physically assaulted. The largest clashes, resulting in 15 injuries, were recorded in Ar Rihiya (Hebron), following the entry of an Israeli military jeep into the village. Another seven Palestinians were injured during a search and arrest operation carried out in As Sawahira as Sharqiya village (Jerusalem), following the ramming attack at the Wadi an Nar checkpoint. Two Palestinians were shot with live ammunition, while reportedly attempting to infiltrate into Israel through the Barrier near Qalqiliya, and another during clashes next to Kobar village (Ramallah). The rest of the injuries were recorded in ad hoc clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem), the Za’tara checkpoint (Nablus), near At Tuwani (Hebron) and Qusra (Nablus) villages, and during the weekly demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya).
  • Overall, Israeli forces carried out 99 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested over 100 Palestinians. The majority of the operations (45) and arrests (55) were registered in East Jerusalem, 18 in the Hebron governorate and 14 in the Ramallah governorate. 
  • On 22 April, a 23-year-old Palestinian man died in an Israeli prison in unclear circumstances. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club claimed that the death was the result of medical negligence. According to Israeli media reports, the Israeli Prison Service opened an investigation.
  • On at least 48 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire in the areas adjacent to Israel’s perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza while enforcing access restrictions. One fisherman was injured by a rubber bullet in the head, and two boats were damaged. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence, east of Jabaliya and Rafah. 
  • The Israeli authorities demolished nine Palestinian-owned structures due to the lack of building permits, displacing a family of eight and affecting 19 others in four communities in Area C of the West Bank. The displacement took place in the Bedouin community of Ein ad Duyuk at Tahta (Jericho), where the authorities demolished an inhabited caravan provided as humanitarian assistance. Another five aid structures, including residential (uninhabited) tents and animal shelters, were demolished in the nearby community of Deir al Qilt. No demolitions have been recorded in East Jerusalem since mid-March. The Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, called on the Israeli authorities to stop demolitions, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis and the month of Ramadan.
  • Five Palestinians were injured and around 470 Palestinian-owned olive trees and saplings damaged by Israeli settlers. Four of the injuries were caused by physical assault in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2), At Tuwani (Hebron) and Jibiya (Ramallah) villages, and another as a result of stone throwing, also in the H2 area. Around 200 olive trees belonging to farmers from Turmus’ayya and Al Mughayyir villages (Ramallah) were vandalized, reportedly by settlers from the adjacent Adei Ad settlement outpost. Most of these trees are located on a plot where Palestinian access is restricted by a ‘prior coordination’ system. Assailants, believed to be from the same settlement outpost, also dismantled a fence around another plot and stole dozens of wooden poles. Around 120 additional trees were cut down in the villages of Ras Karkar (Ramallah), Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), As Sawiya and Qaryut (both in Nablus). Near Fuqeiqis village (Hebron), settlers uprooted around 1,000 seasonal vegetable seedlings and 150 olive saplings, while in Khirbet Samra village (Tubas) they grazed their livestock on 100 dunums of land planted with seasonal vegetables damaging the crops. Settler-related violence has been on the rise since the beginning of March, with the weekly average of incidents resulting in injuries or property damage increasing by over 80 per cent compared to January-February.  
  • Several incidents of stone and Molotov-throwing by Palestinians towards Israeli-plated vehicles travelling on West Bank roads were reported. No injuries occurred, but damage to nine vehicles was reported, in the Jerusalem, Hebron and Ramallah governorates, according to an Israeli NGO.