Posted on 31 October 2019

Protection of Civilians Report | 15 - 28 October 2019

  • Demonstrations in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ continued for the 80th time since the weekly protests began on 30 March 2018, resulting in the injury of 335 Palestinians, including 168 children by Israeli forces, with no fatalities reported. Among the total number of injuries, 68 people, including 29 children, were shot with live ammunition. Israeli sources reported that improvised explosive devices, hand grenades and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli forces, and that there were several attempts to breach the fence; no Israeli casualties were reported.
  • On at least 28 occasions Israeli forces opened fire in the areas adjacent to Gaza’s perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza, while enforcing access restrictions; two injuries, including a labourer, were reported. In another two incidents, Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians, including two children, when they reportedly attempted to infiltrate into Israel through the perimeter fence. Israeli forces also carried out four incursions and land-levelling operations near the perimeter fence between Gaza and Israel.

  • On 18 October, Israeli forces shot and killed a 25-year-old Palestinian man at Jubara checkpoint (Tulkarm). According to Israeli authorities, he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier, while human rights organizations indicated that Israeli forces opened fire and killed the man, after he approached a restricted area at the checkpoint, and did not abide by an order to stop. His body is still being withheld by Israeli forces. On 24 October Israeli forces fired teargas in the Israeli-controlled H2 are of Hebron city. As a result, a total of 70 Palestinians, including 28 children, required treatment after inhaling gas and were transported to the hospital.

  • In the West Bank, another 134 Palestinians, including at least seven children, were injured by Israeli forces, during protests and clashes. 52 of the total injuries were recorded during the weekly demonstration against settlement expansion and access restrictions in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and during a demonstration in Turmusayya (Ramallah), against Israeli settler attacks on the village and the recent establishment of two structures by settlers on the village's land near Shilo settlement. In two separate incidents near the Barrier gate in Qaffin village (Tulkarm), Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man with live ammunition and physically assaulted another, after they tried to cross the Barrier without permits. Another 51 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces, following the entry of Israeli settlers to a religious site (Joseph’s Tomb) in Nablus city. Another nine Palestinians were injured in clashes during a punitive demolition in Al Am’ari refugee camp (Ramallah); see details below. In a separate incident in Al Am'ari camp, Israeli forces shot and injured with live ammunition a Palestinian man. According to Israeli media reports, the incident was a ramming attempt, and the man was shot after he was suspected of holding a suspicious object following the crash. Local Palestinian sources indicated that the man accidently crashed into a military jeep. No injuries among Israeli forces were reported. Overall, nearly half of those injured were treated for tear gas inhalation, 38 per cent as a result of rubber bullets and the remaining due to physical assault and live ammunition.

  • Israeli forces carried out a total of 79 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 86 Palestinians, including nine children. The majority of the operations were in the Hebron governorate (23), followed by Ramallah and Jerusalem governorates. 

  • Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or forced people to demolish, five structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing ten people and affecting 19 others. Three of the targeted structures were in East Jerusalem and two were in Area C. These included two separate incidents, in Beit Hanina and Jabal al Mukabbir neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, where two Palestinian families were forced to self-demolish one residential and one livelihood structure, respectively, resulting in the displacement of one family and affecting another one. Over one quarter of this year’s demolitions in East Jerusalem (52 of 178 structures) were carried out by the Palestinian owners, mainly to avoid paying the municipality for the cost of the demolition. Also in East Jerusalem, near Qalandiya checkpoint, Israeli authorities demolished two under-construction floors for eight apartments. The remaining two properties demolished included agricultural and animal structures near Al 'Arrub refugee camp (Hebron). The number of structures demolished so far this year in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, represents an almost 35 per cent increase compared with the equivalent period in 2018.

  • On 24 October, the Israeli authorities demolished an under-construction three floor residential building in Al Am’ari refugee camp (Ramallah), in Area A, on punitive grounds, affecting four families comprising thirteen people. The home belonged to the family of a Palestinian who was accused of killing an Israeli soldier during a search and arrest operation in May 2018, and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment by the Israeli authorities. Clashes erupted during the demolition (mentioned above). Since the beginning of 2019, seven homes have been demolished on punitive grounds, compared to six in 2018 and nine in 2017.

  • The olive harvest season, which began in early October, was disrupted in a number of areas by Israeli settler violence. Incidents have included: the physical assault and injury of two Palestinian farmers in Tell (Nablus) and Al Jab’a (Bethlehem); and seven incidents involving the setting on fire to, or vandalizing of around 100 olive trees and the stealing of produce in the villages of Burin (Nablus), Kafr ad Dik (Salfit), Shufa (Tulkarm) and Al Jab’a (Bethlehem).The olive harvest season, which takes place every year between October and November, is a key economic, social and cultural event for Palestinians 

  • Five settler attacks resulted in Palestinian injuries and property damage. A Palestinian man was physically assaulted and injured by Israeli settlers in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city. Over 40 vehicles and some houses were vandalized in two incidents in Yatma (Nablus) and Deir Ammar villages (Ramallah).  In two other incidents, in the villages of Al Mughayyir (Ramallah) and Qusra (Nablus), Israeli settlers reportedly damaged an agricultural structure owned by Palestinians, sprayed “price tag” graffiti, and vandalized a gate and water tanks. So far in 2019, OCHA has recorded 270 incidents where Israeli settlers killed or injured Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, a slight increase compared to the equivalent period of 2018 (213 incidents) but almost double the figure for 2017 (124 incidents).

  • Israeli media reported three incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail-throwing attacks by Palestinians at Israeli settler vehicles, three of which resulted in damage to at least three vehicles. So far in 2019, OCHA has recorded 90 incidents where Palestinians killed or injured Israeli settlers and other Israeli civilians or damaged their property, a decline compared to the number of incidents in the equivalent periods of 2018 (141 incidents) and 2017 (211 incidents).