Posted on 20 June 2019

Protection of Civilians Report | 4 - 17 June 2019

Latest Development

On 18 June, the Israeli authorities extended the permissible fishing zone along the coast of Gaza to ten nautical miles, having imposed a full naval closure on 13 June, reportedly in response to the launch of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel.  

Biweekly Highlights

  • During the reporting period, 238 Palestinians were injured in a ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR) protest, which was held on Friday 14 June of whom 70 were hospitalized. For cumulative casualty figures and breakdowns, see here. According to Israeli reports, fires broke out in a number of locations in southern Israel as a result of incendiary balloons launched by Palestinians during the GMR demonstration, and on other days during the reporting period.
  • An exchange of rockets fired by armed Palestinian factions and airstrikes launched by the Israeli air force took place between 13 and 14 June. According to media outlets, one rocket struck a building in Sderot city in southern Israel. No injuries were reported. 
  • On at least 16 occasions, in the context of enforcing access restrictions, Israeli forces opened warning fire in the areas adjacent to the perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza. As a result, six Palestinians were injured. Israeli forces also carried out an incursion and land levelling operation near the perimeter fence in the Rafah area; no injuries were reported.  
  • A total of 15 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank, due to tear gas inhalation, rubber bullets and live ammunition. Ten Palestinians were injured during clashes that erupted in three search and arrest operations in Al Jalazoun refugee camp (Ramallah), in Ramallah city and in Bani Na’im village (Hebron). Overall, 119 search and arrest operations were carried out by Israeli forces in West Bank villages and towns, of which 29 were in Hebron and 24 in Jerusalem. Three of the remaining injuries were as a result of the weekly demonstration held in Kafr Qaddum village (Qaqiliya) on Friday, 14 June, against settlement expansion and settler violence.  
  • During the reporting period, 43 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or confiscated due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 54 people and affecting many more. Of the structures affected, 32 were recorded in 11 Area C communities, including the herding community of Khirbet ar Ras al Ahmar (Tubas), where 11 structures were demolished on 12 June, 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 four residences in Halaweh and Khallet Athab’a communities. Two water cisterns were also demolished in Tammun village (Tubas), due to their location in a nature reserve, affecting access to water for the village’s estimated 13,600 residents. In the same incident and on similar grounds, Israeli forces cut down 390 trees. One of the cisterns was for public use and was provided, along with 150 trees, by the Palestinian Authority. The remaining 11 structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including six in Kafr ‘Aqab (2) and Bir Onah (4), two communities located within Jerusalem municipal areas on the West Bank side of the Barrier. 
  • Twelve incidents involving Israeli settlers resulted in damage to hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive trees and other property. In one incident, on 5 June, settlers believed to be from the settlement outpost of Adei Ad burnt around 300 dunums of land belonging to farmers from Jalud village (Nablus), damaging 900 olive trees. On the same day, the local community reported that settlers burnt a further 233 olive trees and saplings and dozens of dunums of wheat crops belonging to Al Mughayyir village (Ramallah). In three separate incidents, settlers also burnt around four dunums of land planted with wheat and barley crops in Ein Samiya village (Ramallah), and levelled around 15 dunums belonging to Yanun and Madama villages (both in Nablus). So far since the beginning of the year, around 4,000 Palestinian-owned plants have been damaged by settlers. The remaining incidents included the vandalizing of six vehicles and spraying graffiti on the walls of a mosque in Kafr Malik village (Ramallah) and destroying a greenhouse belonging to a farmer from Wadi Fukin (Bethlehem). In the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2), according to eyewitnesses, settlers damaged the newly-constructed wall of a house, and started construction activities in an abandoned Palestinian-owned shop.
  • On four occasions, according to Israeli sources, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles in the West Bank near Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah, causing damage to four vehicles.