Posted on 10 December 2020
Protection of Civilians Report | 24 November – 7 December 2020
- Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy and severely injured three 16-year-old boys in four separate incidents across the West Bank. The fatal shooting occurred on 4 December near Al Mughayyir village (Ramallah), during clashes that erupted in a protest against the establishment of an Israeli settlement outpost. The Israeli authorities announced the opening of an investigation. Two of the injured boys were shot with live ammunition in the chest during stone-throwing incidents on 28 and 29 November, next to Al Bireh and Silwad (Ramallah), and have been hospitalized in intensive care units. The other boy was shot with a rubber bullet in the head on 27 November during the weekly demonstration against settlement expansion in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and was hospitalized with a fractured skull. The UN Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, as well as the UN Human Rights Office called on Israel to conduct prompt, transparent and independent investigations and hold those responsible accountable.
- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously injured another in two separate incidents at checkpoints controlling the access to East Jerusalem from other parts of the West Bank. On 25 November, a Palestinian driver, whose documents were being checked at Az Za’ayyem checkpoint, suddenly accelerated his car, lightly injuring an Israeli policeman, according to official Israeli sources; he subsequently stopped on the road side, where Israeli forces running after the vehicle opened fire and killed him. An investigation by the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, found that the man had posed no threat when killed. On 7 December, Israeli forces shot and injured an unarmed Palestinian who was walking towards the Qalandiya checkpoint and reportedly refused to stop after being ordered to do so.
- Overall, 206 Palestinians, including ten children, and six Israeli soldiers were injured in multiple clashes across the West Bank. Of those, 148 were hit in protests against settlement activities in Salfit, in Ein as Samiya and Al Mughayyir (both in Ramallah), Beit Dajan (Nablus), and Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). Another 25 Palestinians were injured in a protest against home demolitions at Tayasir checkpoint, in the northern Jordan Valley. Clashes with Israeli forces that erupted following the entry of a group of Israelis to a religious site in Nablus city (Joseph's Tomb) resulted in the injury of 13 Palestinians. Five Palestinians and six Israeli soldiers were injured during a search-and-arrest operation in the Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem). The remaining 15 injuries were recorded in search-and-arrest operations in Ad Duheisheh refugee camp (Bethlehem) and in Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem (including a young man shot in the face), during stone throwing incidents, and attempts by Palestinians to cross into Israel through breaches in the Barrier. Nine of all the Palestinians injured were hit by live ammunition and 78 by rubber bullets, 110 were treated for tear gas inhalation and most of the rest were physically assaulted.
- Israeli forces carried out 182 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 149 Palestinians across the West Bank. The largest number of operations was recorded in the governorates of Jerusalem (52) and Hebron (46). Forty of the Jerusalem operations happened in East Jerusalem, including nine in the Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood. Also in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities issued orders banning the entry of three Palestinian (previously arrested for ‘disturbances to the public order’) to the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount compound, bringing the total number of people banned by such orders since the beginning of 2020 to over 150.
- On at least 18 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire near Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza, and off its coast, apparently to enforce access restrictions. No injuries were recorded. On two other occasions, Israeli bulldozers levelled land near the perimeter fence, inside Gaza. Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian men who reportedly crossed into Israel through the fence, east of Deir al Balah, and later released them.
- A total of 52 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized due to a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 67 people and otherwise affecting about 860. Of the targeted structures, 49 were in Area C and three in East Jerusalem. On 25 November, Israeli authorities demolished ten structures, including about four kilometres of water pipes provided as humanitarian assistance, in seven communities in the Massafer Yatta area of southern Hebron; most of this area is designated closed for military training, placing its 1,400 residents at risk of a forcible transfer. The demolition of 13 structures during this period was carried out on the basis of Military Order 1797, which allows for demolitions within 96 hours of the issuance of a ‘removal order.’ Two of the three residential structures demolished in East Jerusalem were carried out by the owners to avoid additional fines and charges.
- Two Palestinians were injured near Qalqiliya and at least 300 Palestinian-owned trees and other properties were damaged by perpetrators believed to be Israeli settlers. The vandalized trees include 150 grape vines and about 140 olive trees and saplings in the villages of Turmus’ayya (Ramallah), As Sawiya (Nablus), and Kafr ad Dik, Bruqin, Yasuf, and Haris in Salfit. At least 1,750 olive trees were vandalized and the produce of over 1,800 was stolen by suspected settlers in October and November. Two of the remaining incidents involved damaging of a plant nursery in As Sawiya village and a shop in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city, and another involved an attack on shepherds in Tubas and the injury of a cow. The Israeli police arrested an Israeli man, while he was attempting to put on fire a church in East Jerusalem.
- Israeli forces uprooted some 200 olive trees and grape vines planted by farmers from Al Khader village (Bethlehem), on grounds that the land was declared ‘state land’. The land, situated next to Neve Daniel settlement, was declared ’state land’ in 2014.
- Two Israelis were injured and 19 Israeli-plated vehicles were damaged while travelling on West Bank roads by perpetrators believed to be Palestinians, according to Israeli sources. The incidents involved the throwing of stones, paint bottles and Molotov cocktails.