Protection of Civilians Report | 6-19 December 2022
Latest Developments (outside the reporting period)
According to initial information from local community sources, on 21 December, a Palestinian man was killed, and at least 26 Palestinians were injured during confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces that were triggered by a visit by Israeli settlers to Joseph’s tomb (Nablus).
(More details will be provided on the above-mentioned incidents in the next report)
Highlights from the reporting period
Israeli forces killed four Palestinians, including one girl, during two search-and-arrest operations in Jenin. On 8 December, Israeli forces conducted a pre-dawn search-and-arrest operation in Jenin city and Jenin refugee camp, where an exchange of fire with Palestinians took place; three Palestinian men were killed, and two others were injured, including one with live ammunition; one ambulance sustained damage, allegedly from Israeli forces fire; and three people were arrested. According to Israeli media, citing the Israeli military, all three fatalities were armed and participated in the exchange of fire, an allegation disputed by eyewitness and human rights organizations who claim that none of the three engaged in the clashes. On 11 December, undercover Israeli forces conducted another search-and-arrest operation in Jenin refugee camp and arrested three Palestinians. An exchange of fire took place with Palestinians during which a 15-year-old Palestinian child, who was standing on the roof of her house, was killed when shot with live ammunition in the head and chest. Three other Palestinians were injured. According to the Israeli military, the girl was shot unintentionally. This brings to 75 the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in search-and-arret operations across the West Bank so far this year, including 16 children. Overall, during the reporting period, Israeli forces carried out 144 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 251 Palestinians, including at least 24 children.
Israeli forces killed two other Palestinians, including one boy, in two additional incidents across the West Bank. On 7 December, a Palestinian man opened fire toward an Israeli military post near Ofra settlement (Ramallah). He was shot and killed following a chase and an exchange of fire between him and Israeli forces. On 8 December, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces along Route 465 near the village of Abud (Ramallah). According to Israeli sources, soldiers opened fire at five Palestinians who had been allegedly hurling stones and paint bottles at Israeli settler vehicles travelling on Road 465, an allegation disputed by eyewitnesses. During the same incident, three Palestinians were injured with live ammunition, including one who was then arrested by Israeli forces.
In total, 171 Palestinians, including at least 44 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. The majority of injuries (116 or 68 per cent) were recorded in Nablus governorate. Overall, 126 Palestinians were treated for teargas inhalation, twelve were injured by rubber bullets, 23 were shot with live ammunition, four were physically assaulted, two were injured with shrapnel and pepper sprayed, and four were hit by teargas canisters. Among the injured, 22 were in incidents involving Israeli settlers, another 101 injuries were reported in military operations and clashes, including search-and-arrest operations, and the remaining 48 Palestinian injuries were in demonstrations against settlement expansion and settlement-related access restrictions near Kafr Qaddum (Qalqilya), Beit Dajan (Nablus), and An Nabi Salih (Ramallah). In two incidents on 9 and 16 December, Israeli forces injured 74 Palestinians, including three with live ammunition, when clashes broke out near a military tower at the entrance of Osarin village (Nablus). Palestinians threw stones at forces stationed near the tower and the latter responded with live ammunition and rubber bullets.
Israeli settlers injured six Palestinians, including one child, in six incidents, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers caused damage to Palestinian property in 20 instances. In addition to the 22 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces in settler-related incidents, six Palestinians were injured by Israeli settlers. On 16 December, a 16-year-old boy was physically assaulted and injured when about 50 Israeli settlers, reportedly from Yitzhar settlement, broke into Madama village (Nablus) and threw stones at Palestinian houses and vehicles. During the same incident, Israeli forces fired teargas canisters and injured eight other Palestinians. In three incidents, on 7, 9 and 14 December, three Palestinians were injured when Israeli settlers threw stones at their vehicles near Huwwara and Madama, both in Nablus. On 9 and 15 December, Israeli settlers, reportedly from Efrata and Sde Boaz settlements, attacked Palestinian farmers from Khirbet An Nahla and Al Khadr (Bethlehem), injuring two of them. In eight other incidents, near Turmus’ayya (Ramallah), Jit (Qalqiliya), Urif, Madama and Beit Dajan (all in Nablus), Yasuf (Salfit), Tuqu’ (Bethlehem), and Mantiqat Shi’ al Butum (Hebron), according to local community sources, some 900 olive trees were vandalized on Palestinian land near Israeli settlements, where in some areas Palestinian access requires approval from the Israeli military (commonly referred to as “prior coordination”). Additionally, Palestinian property was damaged, and livestock was injured, in seven incidents near Qalqiliya, Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem; the property damaged included 12 vehicles, agricultural structures, two water tanks, and stone fences.
One Israeli settler was injured, and damages to at least six Israeli-plated vehicles were reported in six incidents, when people known or believed to be Palestinians reportedly threw stones at Israeli vehicles travelling on West Bank roads, according to Israeli sources. In another incident, one Israeli vehicle sustain damage after reportedly Palestinians shot at their vehicle near Nablus. In addition, on 8 December, according to Israeli Media sources, Israeli forces arrested one Palestinian from Silwad village after hitting and injuring an Israeli motorcyclist, with his vehicle, in an alleged ramming attack in Tel Aviv city (Israel). According to Israeli media, the Palestinian admitted to ramming his vehicle deliberately. The allegation was refuted by the Palestinian’s family who stated that the confession was extracted under duress, during the investigation.
The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 57 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including seventeen homes, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. Thirteen of the structures were provided by donors as humanitarian assistance. As a result, 44 Palestinians, including 22 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of almost 2,000 others were affected. Forty-six of the structures were in Area C, including two structures demolished based on Military Order 1797, which provides only a 96-hour notice and very limited grounds for legally challenging a demolition. On 6 December, Israeli forces confiscated two donor-funded tents and one latrine unit in Isfey al Fauqa (Hebron), in an area designated by the Israeli authorities as “Firing Zone 918.” These structures were provided in response to the Israeli authorities’ demolition of the community’s school on 23 November 2022, on the grounds that it lacked a building permit. The school served 21 students from three communities in southern Hebron. The remaining seven structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including one that was destroyed by its owner in Al ‘Isawiya, to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.
On 18 December, the Israeli authorities deported a Palestinian lawyer, who had been in administrative detention, without trial, since 7 March 2022. The East Jerusalemite lawyer was sent to France, where he has citizenship; his permanent residency status was revoked for an unspecified “breach of allegiance with the State of Israel.”
During the reporting period, for three consecutive days (13-15 December), Israeli forces conducted military training in Masafer Yatta in southern Hebron. This area has been designated by Israeli authorities as a ‘firing zone’ and declared closed. The training, which involved armored vehicles but no live ammunition, restricted the access of Palestinians to basic services. This is the third time since the beginning of the year that such activities take place in this area, where over 1,000 Palestinians, including 560 children, live in 13 herding communities in Masafer Yatta. Such practices are part of a coercive environment that pushes Palestinians to leave their communities and may result in forcible transfer.
In the Gaza Strip, on at least 39 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions with no injuries or damages reported. On three occasions, Israeli military bulldozers leveled lands inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence east of Gaza and east of Rafah.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data
6Palestinians killed by Israeli forces
171Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces in the oPt
0Israelis killed by Palestinians
2Israelis injured by Palestinians
58Palestinian-owned structures demolished
44Palestinians displaced due to demolitions
26Attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank
144Israeli military search and arrest operations in the West Bank