Posted on 6 November 2020

Protection of Civilians Report | 20 October - 2 November 2020

Latest development

  • The most extensive demolition in years was recorded on 3 November, when the Israeli authorities destroyed 83 structures in the Humsa Al Bqai’a community, displacing 73 people, including 41 children. The Humanitarian Coordinator has called for a halt of unlawful demolitions.

Highlights from the reporting period

  • On 25 October, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy died during an Israeli search-and-arrest operation in Turmus’ayya village (Ramallah). According to the Israeli authorities, the boy fell and hit his head on the ground while being chased by soldiers, along with other Palestinian stone-throwers. Palestinian eyewitnesses indicated that he was severely beaten by Israeli forces and, according to the director of the hospital where he was admitted, his body showed signs of violence. 
  • On 31 October, a Palestinian man was killed and six others were injured during a family dispute that triggered widespread clashes with Palestinian forces in the Balata refugee camp (Nablus). The death resulted from the detonation of an explosive device the man killed was carrying. The clashes led to the closure of schools and shops in the camp through the end of the reporting period.
  • The olive harvest season, which started on 7 October, continued to be disrupted by people known or believed to be Israeli settlers. In nine incidents (compared with 19 in the previous reporting period), Palestinians were injured, trees were damaged and produce was stolen. Five of the incidents took place in the Nablus governorate, near Burin village, where two olive pickers were stoned and injured; olive produce and agricultural tools were stolen in Burin, Deir al Hatab, and Jalud; and a tractor used for the harvest was vandalised in Qaryut. About 130 olive trees were vandalized near Turmus’ayya (Ramallah) and produce from about 200 others was stolen in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). 
  • In numerous cases, the access of farmers to their olive groves in the closed area behind the Barrier was impeded. Israeli forces delayed the opening of certain agricultural gates, and in some cases prevented farmers from crossing with vehicles, leading some to refrain from accessing their groves, many of which are located away from the gate.  
  • Two additional settler-related incidents resulted in injury or damage, both in the Nablus governorate. A Palestinian man was injured when hit by a stone in clashes that erupted between Palestinians of ‘Asira al Qibliya and Israeli settlers who had entered their village; Israeli forces intervened by firing tear gas canisters at Palestinians. In the Palestinian village of As Sawiya, assailants believed to be settlers cut electricity poles and water pipelines. 
  • Twenty-five Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were injured in multiple clashes across the West Bank. Eighteen of the injuries were sustained in the weekly protests against access restrictions and settlement activities in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and four others in a protest against settler attempts to establish an outpost near Beit Dajan (Nablus). A boy was injured during clashes in Hebron city, and another Palestinian was physically assaulted while trying to enter Israel through a breach in the Barrier in the Tulkarm governorate. In Al ‘Isawiya (East Jerusalem), a Palestinian was physically assaulted and injured during a search-and-arrest operation. While no live ammunition injuries were recorded, four Palestinians were shot by rubber bullets and two were physically assaulted, while the remaining were treated for tear gas inhalation. An Israeli soldier was injured with a stone in clashes at the entrance of Al ‘Arrub refugee camp (Hebron).
  • On 30 October, Israeli soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle travelling near Qabatiya village (Jenin), resulting in the injury of three children (aged 13, 15, and 16) by shrapnel. The circumstances of the incident remain unclear.
  • Israeli forces carried out 161 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 126 Palestinians across the West Bank. A total of 37 operations were recorded in East Jerusalem, followed by Hebron (23) and Tulkarm (21). 
  • On 20 and 22 October, a Palestinian armed group in Gaza fired three rockets at southern Israel and subsequently Israeli forces targeted military sites and open areas in Gaza. The rockets either fell in open areas or were intercepted. On at least 19 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire near Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza, and off its coast, apparently to enforce access restrictions. None of these attacks resulted in injuries.
  • A total of 41 structures were demolished or seized due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 19 people and otherwise affecting over 1,200 (excluding the incident highlighted above under ‘latest developments’). All the displacements and 37 of the structures targeted were in 15 communities in Area C, while the other four structures demolished were in East Jerusalem. On 28 October, the Israeli authorities cut a donor-funded pipe supplying water to 14 herding communities in the Massafer Yatta area of Hebron, home to about 1,400 people, including over 600 children; among other consequences, this is expected to undermine hygiene practices and people’s ability to cope with the ongoing pandemic. Three structures were demolished in two of the 18 Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem governorate located within or nearby the E1 area, where settlement expansion is planned. 
  • One home was demolished and a room in another home was sealed on punitive grounds, displacing 18 people, including 11 children. The demolished house, in Rujeib (Area B of Nablus), was home to a Palestinian accused of stabbing to death an Israeli civilian last August. The sealing was carried out in Ya’abad (Area A  of Jenin), at the home of a Palestinian charged for the killing of an Israeli soldier during a search-and-arrest operation last May.
  • One Israeli was injured and 11 Israeli-plated vehicles travelling inside the West Bank were damaged, when assailants believed to be Palestinians threw stones at them, according to Israeli sources.