Posted on 19 September 2019

Protection of Civilians Report | 3 - 16 September 2019

Latest development

  • On 18 September, Israeli forces shot and killed a woman at the Qalandiya checkpoint, which controls access to East Jerusalem from the north, after she reportedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

Biweekly highlights

  • Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian children during the ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR) demonstrations near the perimeter fence between Gaza and Israel, and injured another 437, including 200 children. The two boys killed, 14 and 17 years old, were shot on 6 September in two demonstrations held to the east of Jabaliya and Gaza City. The UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov condemned the killings, stating that Israel must “use lethal force only as a last resort, and only in response to imminent threat of death or serious injury.” These incidents bring to 46 the number of children killed at the GMR protests, since their start in March 2018. Eighty-one (81) of those injured during the reporting period, including 31 children, were shot with live ammunition. According to Israeli sources, some demonstrators reached the fence and threw explosive devices at Israeli forces, resulting in no casualties. 
  • On several occasions, Palestinians fired rockets towards southern Israel, following which, the Israeli forces carried out a series of tank shelling and airstrikes, targeting military bases in Gaza. No casualties were reported in either side. According to Israeli sources, one of the rockets caused damage to a house in a community in southern Israel. 
  • On at least 20 occasions Israeli forces opened warning fire in the areas adjacent to Gaza’s perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza, while enforcing access restrictions; no casualties reported. Israeli forces carried out three incursions and land-levelling operations near the fence. In separate incidents, Israeli forces arrested six Palestinians while they reportedly attempted to breach the fence. 
  • A 47-year-old Palestinian man from Nablus city serving a sentence at an Israeli prison died on 8 September. A number of demonstrations related to this death and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners holding a hunger strike took place during the reporting period. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, the man, who was suffering from cancer, died because of medical negligence. He was convicted in 2015 for the killing of two Israeli settlers.
  • Israeli forces injured a total of 187 Palestinians, including 89 children, in multiple clashes across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Most of the injuries (120) were sustained during two incidents, when Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters in a neighbourhood of the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, following stone-throwing by Palestinians. Another 58 Palestinians, including a six-year-old child hit in the head by a tear gas canister, were injured in various clashes in Al ‘Eizariya town (Jerusalem), some of which erupted during protests in support of Palestinian prisoners. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided a mosque in Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood and clashed with worshipers; despite an understanding reached in early September between the Israeli Police and community leaders, the situation in the neighbourhood has remained tense. Additionally, five Palestinians were injured in the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and in an ad-hoc protest supporting prisoners in Kafr Malik (Ramallah). 
  • On 7 September, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy stabbed and injured two Israelis in ‘Azzun village (Qalqiliya). The two, a father and his 17-year-old son, reportedly entered the village for a dental appointment. Israeli forces closed the gate controlling the main access to the village and conducted a search operation looking for the assailant, who later handed himself into Palestinian security forces; the gate was reopened the following day. 
  • Israeli forces carried out a total of 128 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 90 Palestinians. The majority of the operations were in the Jerusalem governorate (35 operations), including at least 13 in Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem and Ramallah (29 operations). 
  • Israeli settlers carried out eight attacks that resulted in two Palestinian injuries and damage to property, amid preparations for the olive harvest season. In three separate incidents, settlers believed to be from Yitzhar settlement and its surrounding outposts, raided the nearby villages of Madama, ‘Einabus and ‘Asira al Qibliya (Nablus): they cut down about 100 olive trees, stoned houses, vandalized vehicles and clashed with the residents. Israeli forces, which intervened during clashes that erupted in Madama village, fired tear gas canisters, one of which hit a Palestinian boy in the face. So far this year, over 4,870 olive trees have been vandalized by assailants believed to be settlers. In another incident, Israeli settlers physically assaulted a Palestinian family having a picnic near Jibya village (Ramallah), injuring the father. Settlers reportedly coming from the former Homesh settlement (Nablus), evacuated in 2005, opened fire at Palestinian vendors near Burqa village, resulting in no casualties. In another four separate incidents, settlers stoned and damaged Palestinian houses and cars in the H2 area of Hebron city, in Beitin village and near the settlements of Beit El (Ramallah) and Ariel (Salfit). 
  • A total of 23 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing 29 people. Most of the displacement followed the demolition of four residential shelters, previously provided as humanitarian assistance in Umm Fagarah, a community located in an area designated as a firing zone for military training in southern Hebron. In Khirbet ‘Atuf (Tubas), a community located in an area designated as a nature reserve, the Israeli authorities demolished five water cisterns provided as humanitarian aid, affecting over 250 residents; over 470 trees were also damaged during the incident. In East Jerusalem, eight structures, including two buildings under construction, were demolished in an area close to the Barrier. Israeli forces also seized materials provided as assistance to the As Safeer community (Hebron), located in the closed area behind the Barrier, for the rehabilitation of residential structures.
  • According to Israeli sources, on three occasions, Palestinians stoned Israeli-plated vehicles driving in the Bethlehem area, causing damage to an unknown number of cars. Also, Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at the Israeli settlement of Ofra (Ramallah), resulting in no casualties or damage.