Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip have undermined the living conditions of about two million Palestinians in Gaza. Many of the 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.
This Annual Report presents information on the achievements of the oPt Humanitarian Fund during the 2018 calendar year. However, because grant allocation, project implementation and reporting processes often take place over multiple years (CBPFs are designed to support ongoing and evolving humanitarian responses)
“Great March of Return” demonstrations marks one year on 30 March 2019. Palestinians injured in demonstrations face greater barriers to accessing health care outside Gaza. Demolitions rise in the first quarter of 2019. Palestinians in Area C are directly affected by Israeli restrictions and control of WASH-related infrastructure.
Four Palestinians, including two children, were killed by Israeli forces in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR) demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, and another 1,456 were injured. On Saturday, 30 March, which marked both Land Day and one year since the beginning of the demonstrations, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians, including two 17-year-old boys: another man who was injured in the demonstrations died of his wounds three days later. In a separate incident outside of the GMR demonstrations, another man was shot and killed near the perimeter fence on the morning of 30 March. For cumulative casualty figures and breakdowns
In the West Bank, six Palestinians and two Israelis were killed in five incidents during the reporting period, bringing the total number of Palestinians and Israelis killed this year to 16 and three, respectively. On 17 March at the junction leading to Ariel settlement near Salfit, a Palestinian man killed an Israeli soldier and Israeli settler, and injured another Israeli soldier at a nearby junction, before fleeing the scene. Israeli forces conducted extensive search and arrest operations and deployed dozens of flying checkpoints in the aftermath of the incident. Two days later, an Israeli undercover unit raided a house in the village of Abwein (Ramallah), in which the suspect was hiding, killing him after a reported exchange of fire. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces erupted during the search-and-arrest operations, resulting in injury to eight Palestinians in Abwein and 14 others in Salfit city. Also, in an earlier incident in Salfit city, on 12 March, another Palestinian was killed by live ammunition from Israeli forces, and 40 other Palestinians were injured, during clashes that erupted during a search and arrest operation. On the same day, a Palestinian, aged 41, was shot and killed by Israeli forces stationed at a checkpoint controlling pedestrian access in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier; in 2018, three Palestinians were shot and killed in H2, in stabbing or attempted stabbing attacks that they perpetrated. On 20 March, two other Palestinians were killed by live ammunition in an area where clashes were taking place between Palestinians and Israeli forces, who were accompanying Israeli settlers to Nablus city to visit Joseph’s Tomb; a Palestinian ambulance also sustained damage, preventing it from reaching the injured. In another incident in Bethlehem, on 20 March, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian and injured another while they were travelling near a military tower at an Israeli-controlled checkpoint; the reason for the shooting remains unclear.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of about two million Palestinians in that area. Many of the 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
In February, 53 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized, constituting a 40 per cent increase compared with the monthly average recorded in 2018 (38). The number of people displaced in February was more than double the monthly average in 2018 (105 vs. 39). In addition, thousands of people were affected by the demolition of parts of water distribution systems in three different areas. All the structures were demolished on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.
The international Commission of Inquiry into the protests in Gaza releases its initial report. Departure of TIPH mission increases protection concerns for H2 residents of Hebron. Palestinian access to land behind the Barrier increasingly rejected due to bureaucratic reasons. Improvements to Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism expected to improve its effectiveness.
In this document
- Overview: February 2019
- Israel terminates TIPH operations in H2: Further shrinking of humanitarian space leaves residents facing increased protection risks
- Fewer permits granted to access land behind Barrier
- Improvements to the mechanism for the import of restricted items to Gaza likely to facilitate implementation of humanitarian interventions
Friday demonstrations and clashes along the perimeter fence in Gaza, during the reporting period, resulted in the killing of two Palestinians, both aged 23, and injury to 556 others; one Palestinian, aged 22, also died of wounds sustained on a previous Friday, 22 February. The two Palestinians were shot with live ammunition during the protests in the Deir al Balah and Rafah area, respectively, on 1 and 8 March. Since the beginning of protests in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ on 30 March 2018, 193 Palestinians have been killed and 26,625 injured. Of the injuries during the reporting period, 269 were hospitalized, including 79 people injured by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Following the launching of projectiles, incendiary balloons and explosive devices by Palestinians towards Israel, a number of Israeli air strikes and shelling targeted military sites, reportedly belonging to Palestinian armed groups, and ports, damaging two sites and three fishing boats.
One Palestinian boy was killed, during the Friday demonstrations and clashes at the perimeter fence in Gaza, and 449 Palestinians were injured; another boy died of wounds sustained previously. According to Israeli sources, on several occasions, protestors threw explosive devices, launched incendiary balloons and tried to breach the fence, resulting in injury to an Israeli Border Police officer. On 22 February, Israeli forces shot a 14-year-old Palestinian boy with live ammunition in the chest and killed him during a protest east of Gaza city. On 12 February, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy died of wounds sustained after being hit by a tear gas canister in the head by Israeli forces during a similar protest on 8 February in the Deir al Balah area. These incidents bring the number of Palestinian children killed in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’ to 40 since late March 2018. Five of these have been killed since the beginning of 2019. Of all the injuries during the reporting period, 228 were hospitalized, including 92 people injured by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.