Casualties

Palestinian civilians across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are subject to threats to their lives and physical safety from conflict-related violence, and from policies and practices related to the Israeli occupation, including settler violence. In the Gaza Strip, three large rounds of hostilities between Palestinian armed groups and Israel since 2008, have left thousands of civilian deaths and injuries. In the West Bank, casualties have also been on the rise in recent years, mainly in the context of confrontations with Israeli forces and increasing frustration over continued occupation. Throughout the oPt, concerns have been raised over excessive use of force. Although the specific contexts in which civilians are killed or injured varies, there is a pervasive crisis of accountability, with no effective remedy for the vast majority of alleged violations of international law, to ensure justice for the victims and to prevent future violations.

OCHA monitors casualties in its Protection of Civilians reports.

Articles, statements and press releases

12 February 2020 |
Black smoke rising from burnt tires during demonstrations at the fence, Gaza. ©  Photo by WHO

In 2019, Israeli forces killed 132 Palestinians, mostly by air-launched explosive weapons or live ammunition: 107 were killed in the Gaza Strip and 25 in the West Bank. Another 15,368 Palestinians were injured during the year by Israeli forces: 42 per cent required medical treatment after inhaling tear gas, 16 per cent were hit by rubber bullets and 13 per cent were shot with live ammunition.

19 November 2019 |
Palestinian fishers hold their fish as they arrive to the fish market in Gaza City, 20 June, 2019. ©  Photo by FAO/Alaa Bardeneh

“I have been fishing since I was ten years old and fishing is the only source of income for my wife, myself and our 10 children,” said Fadi, a 44-year-old fisher from Gaza city.

On 1 April 2019, the Israeli authorities expanded the permissible fishing area along the southern and central parts of Gaza’s coast from six up to 15 nautical miles (NM) offshore, the furthest distance that Gaza’s fishers have been permitted to access since 2000. Access to the northern areas along the coast remain more limited at up to 6 NM, well below the 20 NM agreed under the Oslo Accords

19 November 2019 |
Hiyam Ahmad Jumaa, and her two sons in front of “Barrier Gate 105”, outside of Beit Surik village (Ramallah), 31 October, 2019. ©  Photo by OCHA

The annual olive harvest, which takes place every year between October and November, is a key economic, social and cultural event for Palestinians. In the West Bank, more than 10 million olive trees are cultivated on approximately 86,000 hectares of land, representing 47 per cent of the total cultivated agricultural area. Between 80,000 and 100,000 families are said to rely on olives and olive oil for primary or secondary sources of income, and the sector employs large numbers of unskilled laborers and more than 15 per cent of working women. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the olive oil yield for the West Bank in 2019 is estimated to reach a record 27,000 tons, which is an 84 per cent increase over the previous year. The estimated record yield this year is due to the alternate fruit-bearing “on and off seasons” and less infestation by the olive fruit fly during the current season.

15 October 2019 |

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Anas Al Maniarawi is a 27-year-old student and aspiring mechanical engineer. He was in his final semester at university when his life was turned upside down. On 18 May 2018, he was hit by live ammunition, during one of the ‘Great March of Return’ (GMR) demonstrations at Israel’s perimeter fence surrounding the Gaza Strip. Anas was shot in his left leg, which had to be amputated below the knee due to muscle and bone damage

6 September 2019 |
©  Photo by OCHA

In Gaza, severe limb injuries caused by live ammunition have created a substantial burden on the already overstrained health system. Between 30 March 2018 and 31 July 2019, more than 8,000 Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition by Israeli forces during the “Great March of Return” (GMR) demonstrations along the fence between Gaza and Israel. According to the oPt Health Cluster, 87 per cent of these are limb injuries, with injuries to the abdomen and pelvis accounting for approximately five per cent.

6 September 2019 |

Between June and August 2019, there was a sharp increase in violent clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in the Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. As of 21 August, these clashes have resulted in the killing of one Palestinian and the injury of at least 137, a significant increase compared to previous periods. Four Israeli policemen were also injured. During this period, OCHA recorded the arrest of 218 residents, including 53 children, roughly the same as in previous periods, while media reports estimated this figure at over 300. The daily life of the over 18,000 Palestinians living in Al ‘Isawiya has been severely disrupted, with a particularly negative impact on children and on commercial activities.