Posted on 5 July 2019
Protection of Civilians Report | 18 June – 1 July 2019
- A total of 494 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during the reporting period in demonstrations held in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR), which have been taking place in the Gaza Strip near the perimeter fence with Israel since 30 March 2018. Over 45 per cent of those injured were hospitalized. For cumulative casualty figures and breakdowns, see here.
- On at least 12 occasions outside of the GMR protests, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians in the course of enforcing access restrictions imposed on land and sea areas off the coast of Gaza, forcing farmers and fishermen to leave the areas. Three fishermen were detained and another was injured, in addition to damage caused to three fishing boats and the confiscation of fishing nets. Additionally, on two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza, and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence, east of Beit Hanoun and east of Khan Yunis.
- In response to the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel on 24 June, Israel suspended fuel deliveries to Gaza which forced the Gaza Power Plant to operate at only approximately half of its capacity, triggering a reduction in power supply between 25 and 28 June.
- In the West Bank, a 21-year-old Palestinian man was shot and killed with live ammunition by an Israeli policeman on 27 June, during clashes in Al Isawiya neighborhood in East Jerusalem. According to local community sources, the man was shot in the chest at close range and died shortly after admission to an Israeli hospital. His body was withheld by the Israeli authorities until 1 July. According to Israeli sources, the man was lighting a firecracker in the direction of Israeli policemen when he was shot; Palestinian sources claim he was an uninvolved bystander. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces continued in the vicinity of Al Isawiya for several days following the killing, leading to dozens of Palestinian injuries (see below).
- Also in the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 168 Palestinians, including at least six children, during protests and multiple clashes. A total of 134 Palestinians, including at least three children were injured during ad-hoc clashes with Israeli forces, in four separate incidents in Al Isawiya in East Jerusalem (124 injuries), following the killing of the 21-year-old Palestinian man on 27 June (see above); and near Bab Az Zawiya in Hebron City (ten injuries). Another 22 injuries were sustained in clashes that erupted in two search and arrest operations in the village of Kobar and in Al Am’ari refugee camp (both in Ramallah). On successive Fridays, 21 and 28 June, a total of twelve people, including three children, were injured during the weekly demonstrations, held in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya), against settlement expansion and settler violence. Another three people, including one woman, were injured in a demonstration held in Al Isawiya town in East Jerusalem, in protest against the recurrent search operations in the town, on 19 June. In a separate incident, two Palestinians, a 53-year-old man and his 14-year-old son, were physically assaulted and injured by Israeli soldiers while trying to access their home in Ash Shuhada street, through Checkpoint 56 in the H2 area of Hebron city.
- In the West Bank, Israeli forces conducted 155 search and arrest operations and arrested at least 168 Palestinians, including 13 children. The Jerusalem governorate accounted for the highest proportion of operations (41) and arrests (56).
- On 29 June, Israeli border policemen forcefully broke into Al Maqased Hospital in East Jerusalem, reportedly searching for protesters injured in clashes in the Al Isawiya and At Tur areas of East Jerusalem, disrupting the provision of emergency medical care and arresting two Palestinians.
- Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 27 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem. As a result, 52 people, including 35 children, were displaced and 5,074 people were otherwise affected. Three of the affected structures were provided as humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions in the villages of Qusra and Majdal Bani Fadil (both in Nablus). Of the structures affected, 24 were recorded in nine Area C communities. This included the herding community of Zatara al Kurshan (Bethlehem), where six structures were demolished on 27 June, displacing 46 people, including 32 children, due to its location within the boundaries of an Israeli-designated closed military area. In another closed military zone in south Hebron, Israeli forces demolished one residence in Umm Fagarah herding community, displacing five people, including three children. One caravan, part of a waste management project, was seized in Barta'a ash Sharqiya (Jenin), for lack of a building permit in Area C, affecting the implementation of the project that serves the entire village of an estimated 4,950 residents. The remaining 13 affected structures in Area C, included two residential, five livelihood, and four agriculture structures, as well as two water tanks. Additionally, three structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including one in the Ras al 'Amud area, where a Palestinian family was forced to self-demolish an extension to their home, affecting six people, including four children.
- Eighteen incidents involving Israeli settlers resulted in the injury of three Palestinians and damage to Palestinian property. Three Palestinians, including one child, were physically assaulted and injured by settlers in three separate incidents in the H2 area of Hebron city. In another three separate incidents, according to video footage produced by a human right organization and eye witnesses, Israeli settlers, reportedly from the settlement of Homesh, Yitzhar, and Beitar Illit, set fire to hundreds of dunums of land belonging to farmers from Madama and Burin (both in Nablus), and Wadi Fuqin (Bethlehem), damaging at least 287 olive trees. In an additional incident, Palestinian local community sources reported that settlers vandalized a further 37 olive trees and saplings belonging to Surif village (Hebron). In an area that require prior coordination with Israeli authorities to gain access in Yasuf (Salfit), settlers reportedly set fire to around five dunums of land planted with wheat and barley. In two separate incidents, settlers also levelled around 15 dunums in Wadi Fukin (Bethlehem) and Khirbet Samra (Tubas), damaging crops. Since the beginning of 2019, OCHA has recorded the reported uprooting, burning or vandalizing of more than 4,100 trees by Israeli settlers, representing a 126 and 37 per cent increase, on a monthly average, compared with 2018 and 2017. The remaining incidents included the vandalizing of 35 vehicles and spraying graffiti on the walls of houses in Deir Istiya (Salfit), Beitin and Sinjil (both in Ramallah).
- On three occasions, according to Israeli sources, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles in the West Bank near Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah, causing damage to at least three vehicles.