Posted on 9 October 2020
Protection of Civilians Report | 22 September - 5 October 2020
- On 5 October, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian, aged 28, near Beit Lid village in Tulkarm. According to Israeli media sources, the man was part of a group of three who were throwing Molotov cocktail at soldiers close to Enav checkpoint; the other two fled the scene. The fatality brings to 20, the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since the beginning of the year.
- A total of 27 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank during the reporting period. In the town of Hizma (Jerusalem), Israeli soldiers shot and injured a 15-year-old boy in the head with live ammunition, in unclear circumstances. Near Qusra village (Nablus), Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, injuring eight Palestinians, after they intervened to stop a clash between settlers and farmers. The clashes erupted when the settlers attacked farmers working their land. Seven Palestinians were injured in the weekly protest in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and another two were injured while Palestinian farmers and activists were ploughing land and planting trees in an attempt to prevent settlers taking over the land, in ‘Asira al Qibliya village. In addition, four injuries were sustained in ad-hoc clashes with Israeli forces in the refugee camps of Jenin and Ein as Sultan (Jericho), and in Surif and Beit Ummar villages (both in Hebron). Three other Palestinians were injured in unclear circumstances in Kafr Malik village (Ramallah) and Jenin City. The remaining two Palestinians were injured while they were attempting to enter Israel through breaches in the Barrier in Tulkarm and Jenin governorates. Overall, 14 were injured by rubber bullets, nine by live ammunition, and the rest were physically assaulted or treated for tear gas inhalation.
- Israeli forces carried out 226 search-and-arrest operations and arrested at least 180 Palestinians across the West Bank, which represents an 87 percent increase above the 2020 biweekly average so far. As in previous weeks, the majority of the operations (42) occurred in the Jerusalem governorate, particularly in Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, followed by the Hebron (35) and Qalqiliya (31) governorates. Overnight, on 1 October until noon the next day, a large-scale operation took place in Al ‘Isawiya, with at least 18 Palestinians arrested. Intense police operations have been ongoing in Al Isawiya since mid-2019, resulting in heightened tensions and disruption of the lives of at least 18,000 residents.
- On 25 September, Egyptian naval forces opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat, killing two and injuring another. The boat, on which the three fishermen, who were brothers, were sailing, reportedly drifted into Egyptian waters south of the town of Rafah. This is the first incident in which Palestinian fishermen were killed by Egyptian forces since November 2018. The fishing syndicate in Gaza called for a halt to fishing for one day to protest the event.
- On 5 October, a Palestinian armed group fired one rocket towards southern Israel, resulting in no injuries or damage to property. Subsequently, the Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike, targeting a military site in Gaza, causing damage, but no injuries.
- On at least 28 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire near Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza, and off its coast, apparently to enforce access restrictions, resulting in no injuries. In one of the incidents, Israeli naval forces used water cannons, causing three fishing boats to sink. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence. Also, three Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces near the perimeter fence while they were reportedly trying to infiltrate into Israel.
- The Israeli authorities demolished or seized 42 Palestinian-owned structures for the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 53 Palestinians, and otherwise affecting about 150 people. Most of the demolished structures (39), which included 15 provided as humanitarian assistance, and all the people displaced, were recorded in Area C. These included six residential structures in the communities of Ar Rakeez and Mantiqat Shi'b al Butum in the South Hebron hills, located in a closed area designated for military training, displacing 27 people. Eight other structures were demolished in the same incident in Kisan village (Bethlehem), displacing 13 Palestinians. Also, six structures were demolished in Khirbet Yarza (Tubas), Ni’lin (Ramallah) and Deir Samit (Hebron) on the basis of the Military Order 1797, which allows for demolitions within 96 hours of the issuance of a ‘removal order’. The three structures in East Jerusalem were livelihood-related; no self-demolitions were recorded.
- On 1 October, in reply to a letter from the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem and Adalah, an Israeli NGO, the Israeli Justice Ministry agreed to re-implement a policy introduced in March, in response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, to stop the demolition of inhabited residential buildings in East Jerusalem. The agreement does not apply to structures built after 1 October. The issuance of administrative demolition orders will be reduced in general, so that orders are only issued in relation to new construction, particularly those which are judged to take advantage of the state of emergency.
- In Hebron, the Israeli authorities have given permission for the removal of a major roadblock that has been in place since 2000. The closure prevents the residents of Qalqas village from accessing Road 60, located three kilometres from Hebron city. For the past 20 years, thousands of residents have been forced to use bypass roads, lengthening the journey by up to 11 kilometres.
- Three Palestinians were injured, and dozens of olive trees damaged, in four incidents involving settlers. The Palestinians were injured when they fell after being chased by a guard from Yitzhar settlement, while they were undertaking a survey of their land near the settlement. Also, 80 Palestinian-owned olive trees were vandalized by settlers in three locations near the villages of Al Jab’a and Al Khadr (Bethlehem), and in Kafr ad Dik (Salfit). In addition, settlers attacked a woman and broke her phone while she was filming them trespassing on her land in the H2 area of Hebron city.
- Four Israelis were injured in the West Bank when assailants, believed to be Palestinians, threw stones at three vehicles and stole another, according to Israeli sources. Additionally, 15 Israeli-plated cars reportedly sustained damage from stone-throwing, while travelling on West Bank roads.