State of Emergency across the oPt extended through early May 2020. Increasing shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and supplies to conduct COVID-19 tests. The Inter-agency Response Plan for the COVID-19 crisis is 86 per cent funded.
On the night of 22 March, Israeli forces shot and killed a 32-year-old Palestinian man and injured a relative, while they were travelling on a main road near Ni’lin village (Ramallah). Israeli military sources claimed that the two were involved in stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles. According to family members, the two were on their way to buy supplies. The body of the man killed has been withheld by the Israeli authorities. This brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the start of the year to nine.
The first fatality from COVID-19 in the oPt recorded in the West Bank on 25 March. Further social and movement restrictions introduced in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) Response Plan for COVID-19 seeks US$34m to prevent further transmission of the virus in the oPt.
On 22 March, the Palestinian Authority imposed a curfew in the West Bank for 14 days, obliging people to stay at home, except for the purchase of food and medicine, or in case of emergency. First two COVID-19 cases detected in Gaza; 1,400 people held in 21 quarantine centers across the Strip in precarious conditions. The COVID-19 Inter-agency Response Plan for the coming three months, is less than 23 per cent funded.
Ten donor-funded structures demolished or seized. Rise in demolitions and seizures through the use of Military Order 1797. Punitive demolition triggers clashes resulting in two deaths.
On 11 March, Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy and injured another 132 Palestinians, including 17 children, during clashes south of Nablus. The clashes erupted during a protest in Beita village against ongoing attempts by Israeli settlers to take over a hill near the village located in Area B. The boy killed was hit with live ammunition in the head. The Israeli authorities announced the opening of an investigation.
A round of hostilities between Israel and a Palestinian armed group in Gaza took place on 23 and 24 February and resulted in the injury of 12 Palestinian and 16 Israeli civilians. The round started with the killing of a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group by Israeli forces and the injury of another, while they were reportedly planting an explosive device next to the perimeter fence, east of Khan Younis. Also, two civilians were injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces while they were trying to recover the two PIJ members. The images, caught on camera, of an Israeli bulldozer retrieving the body of the man killed from inside the perimeter fence, triggered widespread outrage across the Gaza Strip.
Two Palestinians were killed and 14 Israeli soldiers were injured in three separate Palestinian attacks and alleged attacks on 6 February. In Jerusalem’s Old City, a 45-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot and killed by Israeli police forces after he opened fire and injured a border police officer. In West Jerusalem, a Palestinian man ran his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, injuring 12 of them; the driver was arrested at the Gush Etzion junction (Hebron).
The first month of 2020 recorded the demolition/seizure of 11 donor-funded structures. The use of Military Order 1797 in Area C continued in 2020. 53 per cent of targeted structures in East Jerusalem were demolished by their owners.
The new year has witnessed increased tension in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), particularly in Gaza. The most serious escalation occurred on 23 and 24 February, following the killing, by Israel, of a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), who was attempting to place an explosive device along the perimeter fence with Israel; in an incident caught on camera, his body was subsequently retrieved by an Israeli bulldozer, in a manner that triggered widespread outrage across the Gaza Strip.