Flash update: As of 20:00 today, 6 April, seven Palestinians have been killed and over 1,350 injured by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. The MoH reports that approximately 400 of the injuries were caused by live ammunition, of whom 25 are in critical condition. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that their teams handled 700 of the injured, including over 320 of the live ammunition injuries.
18 Palestinians killed and 1,400 injured by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, the majority during demonstrations at the perimeter fence; concern over possible excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers. Some 22,000 people in Gaza are still displaced from the 2014 hostilities, primarily due to the lack of funding for reconstruction, and are living in precarious conditions and constant uncertainty. Seasonal expansions of the permitted fishing areas in Gaza have significantly increased the total catch, but this remains limited to low-value sardines; concern over the methods used to enforce access restrictions remain. The operation of mobile health clinics in 35 vulnerable communities in the West Bank has been halted, and is at risk in another 154 communities, due to severe funding gaps.
In what amounted to the highest number of casualties in a single day in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 hostilities, on 30 March, 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces (or died of wounds sustained that day), and another 1,400 were injured, including over half of them by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH). The Israeli authorities accused the MoH of inflating the number of wounded by live ammunition. No Israeli casualties were reported. The majority of the casualties occurred in the context of the first in a series of mass demonstrations, organized as part of the ‘Great March of Return’ and scheduled to take place near the perimeter fence with Israel, between 30 March (‘Land Day’) and 15 May, the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the 1948 ‘Nakba’.
The hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups from 7 July to 26 August 2014 were the most devastating in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967. In addition to the 1,460 Palestinian civilians killed, including 556 children,3 some 17,800 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged, causing approximately 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Three and a half years after the ceasefire, more than 22,000 people (4,162 families) are still displaced (as of the end of February 2018).4 As highlighted below, many of them continue to live in precarious conditions with uncertainty regarding their immediate future.
In 1994, a permitted fishing range of 20 nautical miles (NM) was agreed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In practice, Israel only allowed fishing up to 12 NM until 2006, when the fishing zone was reduced to six and later to three NM. According to the Israeli authorities, “Hamas has established naval forces with significant military capabilities, as seen during operation “Protective Edge” when Hamas naval commando infiltrated Israel and were detected near an Israeli village. This situation required Israel to tighten its security restrictions at sea to prevent similar future attacks.”
Over 220,000 Palestinians living in 189 communities across the West Bank lack a permanent clinic and face critical challenges in accessing basic health services. These communities include, primarily, those located in Area C, in the Israeli-controlled parts of Hebron city (H2), and in the closed areas behind the Barrier (the Seam Zone). In many of these areas, the journey to the nearest clinic has lengthened because of the need to travel circuitous ways around settlements and barriers. Access to healthcare can be hampered by the unavailability or high costs of transportation, and in some communities, access to emergency services is challenging as even ambulances face delays.
Flash update: As of 22:00 today, 30 March, 15 Palestinians were killed and 1,416 were injured by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. Of all injuries, approximately 750 were hit by live ammunition, including twenty, who are reported to be in a critical condition.
Three Israelis, including two soldiers and one settler, as well as a Palestinian perpetrator, were killed in two reported Palestinian attacks in the West Bank. On 16 March, a 26-year-old Palestinian man drove his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers near the Mevo Dotan settlement (Jenin), killing two of them; he continued driving and ran over another group of soldiers injuring two, before being arrested by Israeli forces. While according to Palestinian eye witnesses this appeared to be a car accident, Israeli media sources indicated that the driver confessed that it was a deliberate attack. On 18 March, in the Old City of Jerusalem, a 28-year-old Palestinian man stabbed and killed a 32-year-old Israeli male settler. The perpetrator, from 'Aqraba village (Nablus), was shot and killed on the spot by an Israeli police officer and his body has been withheld by the Israeli authorities. Since the beginning of 2018, five Israelis and two Palestinian perpetrators have been killed during Palestinian attacks or alleged attacks
Slight increase in demolitions and seizures during February. Most structures targeted supported agricultural, herding and commercial livelihoods. Eight EU-funded structures demolished or seized, including a school in an area planned for settlement expansion.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of approximately two million Palestinians in that area. Many of the current restrictions, originally imposed by Israel in the early 1990s, were intensified after June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the imposition of a blockade. These restrictions continue to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future. The situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed since June 2013 by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah Crossing, which had become the main crossing point used by Palestinian passengers in the Gaza Strip, given the restrictions on the Israeli-controlled crossings. On 1 November 2017, pursuant to the Palestinian reconciliation agreement reached on 12 October, the Hamas authorities handed over control of the Gaza side of the Erez, Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings to the Palestinian Authority; a Hamas-run checkpoint that controlled access to the Erez crossing (“Arba’ Arba’”) was dismantled.