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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
19 October 2012


    UNITED NATIONS
    Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    occupied Palestinian territory



PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS WEEKLY REPORT


التقرير الأسبوعي لحماية المدنيين

10-16 OCTOBER 2012


Key issues

Hostilities between militants in Gaza and Israel continue: Israeli air strikes kill five Palestinian militants and injure five other Palestinians, including two children.

Israeli settlers vandalize around 160 olive trees owned by Palestinians.

After a lull of more than a month, the Israeli authorities demolished six Palestinian-owned structures, including two residences, in East Jerusalem and Area C.



WEST BANK

Significant decline in Palestinian injuries

This week saw a significant decline in Palestinian injuries compared to the weekly average recorded since the beginning of the year (7 vs. 60). Four Palestinians were injured during a weekly demonstration against the expansion of Hallamish settlement on An Nabi Saleh village’s land (Ramallah) and in the weekly demonstration against the continued restrictions on access to agricultural land within the outer limits of Karmei Tzur settlement in Hebron.

In addition on 16 October, Palestinian and international activists held a demonstration on route 443, protesting against settler attacks during the current olive harvest season. This road connects Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but most of it is built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank and its use by Palestinians is restricted. Protestors clashed with Israeli forces resulting in the injury of a Palestinian and an international activist. In another incident, on 10 October, Israeli forces intervened in a clash between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, which erupted when the latter attempted to attack a Palestinian shepherd near Bracha settlement (Nablus). Two Palestinians were injured in the incident.

Also on 10 October, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli security guard at Betar Illit settlement (Bethlehem), injuring him. The assailant was later physically assaulted by settlers from the settlement.


Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 4
Injured this week: 7 (5 in demonstrations)
Injured in 2012: 2,249
2012 weekly average of injured: 60
2011 weekly average of injured: 30
Search and arrest operations by Israeli forces this week: 72

Some 160 olive trees damaged by Israeli settlers

As the olive harvest continued, Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their property continued this week. In one incident on 12 October, settlers attacked a Palestinian family who were picking their olives in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron City, and injured one man. A number of stone-throwing incidents were also reported across the West Bank during the week. There were no injuries reported but some farmers were intimidated and forced to stop their harvest.

In a series of incidents this week, Israeli settlers cut down or set fire to around 160 Palestinian-owned trees located in the vicinity of settlements across the West Bank. The trees belonged to farmers from the villages of Deir Ammar (70) and Beitillu (4) in the Ramallah governorate, Qaryut (11) and Deir Al Hatab (30) in the Nablus governorate, Kafr Qaddum (22) in the Qalqiliya governorate, Al Khader (20) in the Bethlehem governorate and Beit Ummar (2) in Hebron governorate. Additionally 30 Palestinian-owned almond trees and grape vines were vandalized by settlers in Beit Ummar and Al Khader. The total number of trees damaged by settlers since the beginning of this year’s olive harvest season is over 900.

Also this week, farmers reported that Israeli settlers had stolen olives that had just been harvested by the communities of Hizma in Jerusalem, Kafr Qaddum in Qaqiliya and Jalboun village in Jenin. According to Israeli sources, two Palestinians were arrested after attempting to set fire to land adjacent to Har Bracha settlement in Nablus.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, issued a statement on 14 October, expressing his concerns regarding the repeated attacks and destruction of olive trees by settlers during the ongoing olive harvest.

Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 13
2012 weekly average: 6
2011 weekly average: 8

Palestinian injuries by settler violence:
This week: 3
Injured in 2012: 135
2011 weekly average: 4

Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 0
Injured in 2012: 36
Injured in 2011: 37
2012 weekly average: 1

Five demolitions and new demolition orders issued

Following a lull of more than a month, this week the Israeli authorities demolished five Palestinian-owned structures, including two residences, in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.

On 14 October, the Israeli authorities demolished a house and a horse stable in Beit Hanina, in East Jerusalem, evicting six people, including four children. This demolition was carried out in relation to an eviction order issued by an Israeli court, in the context of a dispute between two Palestinian families over ownership of the land. In Area C of the West Bank, on 16 October, Israeli forces demolished a residential structure, two animal shelters and a latrine in A Seefer community, located in the closed area between the Barrier and the Green Line in South Hebron. Two families, comprising eight members, including six children, were displaced. The A Seefer community is already vulnerable due to restrictions on their access to Yatta town, the main economic and service hub in South Hebron, and the difficulties faced by humanitarian organizations to reach them.

This week the Israeli authorities issued demolition and stop-work orders against 20 residences in East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Tubas and Bethlehem, two water cisterns in Hebron, and an elementary school in Qaqiliya. In Tubas, eight Palestinian families were verbally informed by Israeli forces that they are required to leave their residences within two weeks.

Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
This week:
Demolished: 6
Demolished in 2012: 469
Of which residences: 138
People displaced in 2012: 682
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 12 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 17 vs. 21

GAZA STRIP
Hostilities continue: two Palestinian children injured and several houses damaged in a series of Israeli air strikes

Hostilities between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel continued throughout the week. On 13 October, an Israeli air strike hit two Palestinian militants riding on a motorcycle east of Jabalyia, killing both of them. A six-year-old child was injured and two houses sustained damage during the attack. The same day, another Israeli air strike hit an area inside Al Bureij refugee camp, injuring a 12-year-old child and causing minor damage to five houses. The following day, the IAF launched air strikes in two locations east of Khan Younis and Deir el Balah, killing three militants and injuring three others. Earlier in the week (on 10 October), an Israeli air strike hit agricultural land north of Beit Lahiya, damaging windows and walls of a kindergarten recently built with funding from Italian NGO.

Throughout the reporting period, Palestinian militants fired projectiles, including Grad rockets, towards southern Israel. No injuries or damage were reported.

The Israeli authorities continued enforcing restrictions on Palestinian access to areas on the Gaza side of the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip as well as fishing zones off the Gaza coastline. On several occasions during the week, Israeli forces fired ‘warning shots’ at farmers, forcing them to leave their lands located near the security fence. Also, in four separate incidents this week, the Israeli navy opened fire towards Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore.

On 11 October, three Palestinians, including two children (aged 2 and 13), sustained injuries while one of the children was handling a hand grenade inside his house. To date in 2012, two people, including one child, have been killed and 30 others, including 19 children, injured in incidents involving UXOs.

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
Killed this week: 5
Killed in 2012: 62
Injured this week: 5
Injured in 2012: 277
2012 weekly average of injured: 8
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Israeli casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
Injured this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 1
Injured in 2012: 18

Three truckloads of date bars were transported from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank

This week, three truckloads of date bars intended for UN World Food Programme (WFP) projects were allowed to exit Gaza and transported to the West Bank, via the Kerem Shalom crossing. In total, since the beginning of 2012, 27 truckloads of goods, including 23 truckloads of date bars and four truckloads of furniture, were allowed to exit Gaza and transported to the West Bank. These approvals were given on an exceptional basis; the overall ban on the transfer of commercial goods to the West Bank and Israel remains in place.

Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing)
Imports:

Exports:

For more information, please contact Mai Yassin at yassinm@un.org or +972 (0)2 5829962.


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