Demolitions continued in Area C and East Jerusalem, leading to the displacement of more than 120 people and undermining of the livelihoods of hundreds of others.
The Israeli army issued eviction orders to dozens of families in herding communities in the northern Jordan Valley, placing hundreds of people at imminent risk of displacement. Approximately 18% of the West Bank has been designated as a “firing zone” or closed military zone for training.
During the reporting period, at least 80 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. Over 40 structures (of which 16 were residential and 30 livelihood-related) were directly demolished by the Israeli authorities, while the remaining structures were demolished by their owners after receiving demolition orders. The number of demolitions and people displaced this week is over five times the weekly average since the beginning of 2012.
Around two-thirds of this week’s demolitions took place on 31 October in Ibziq village (Tubas), where 27 residential tents and 25 animal shelters were targeted. Fifteen families (126 people, including 82 children) were displaced. A two-storey house under construction in Ad Deirat village (Hebron) and two uninhabited houses in the Jericho area were also demolished.
In East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem municipality demolished a house in the neighbourhood of At Tur, displacing two people; and a Palestinian was forced to demolish his own house in Beit Safafa (Jerusalem) after receiving a demolition order. Furthermore, in Anata village (Jerusalem), a house (Beit Arabiya) used by a Palestinian family as a secondary residence and a guest house was demolished for the sixth time.
Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
Palestinian casualties remain below 2012 average
This week, Israeli forces injured 13 Palestinians, well below the 2012 weekly average of 52. Ten members of the Israeli forces were also injured during the reporting period.
On 31 October, Israeli forces physically assaulted and injured seven Palestinians in a confrontation during demolitions in Nabi Samuel.
In East Jerusalem, there were two incidents of stabbing by Palestinians, triggering search and arrest operations and clashes. On 6 November, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier at the Barrier checkpoint which controls movement between Shu’fat refugee camp and other areas of East Jerusalem. In an attempt to arrest the suspected perpetrator, a17-year old boy, Israeli forces raided the camp, triggering clashes with local residents in which six Palestinians sustained injuries. The Israeli media reported that nine Israeli border policemen were also hurt. Earlier in the week, on 2 November, a Palestinian stabbed and injured an Israeli settler in the neighbourhood of Ras al Amud, an incident resulting in a search-and-arrest operation by Israeli forces in which 12 Palestinians were reportedly detained.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 4
Killed in 2011: 11
Injured this week: 13
Injured in 2012: 2,279
Injured in 2011: 1,460
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 52 vs. 30
Search and arrest operations by Israeli forces this week: 220
Settler violence: fewer olive harvest related incidents
Three incidents resulting in damage to olive trees or theft of olives by Israeli settlers were recorded this week; a figure well below the numbers recorded during the first two weeks of the season. Settlers reportedly cut down around 30 olive trees in Deir Ammar village (Ramallah) near Talmon settlement, and four olive trees near Kiryat Arba’ settlement (Hebron), and harvested and stole olives near Karmei Tzur settlement (Hebron).
On 3 November, settlers also raided Urif village (Nablus), clashing with local residents and injuring one Palestinian man. Urif is one of six Palestinian communities systematically targeted by settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement. The attacks have severely undermined the physical security and livelihoods of Urif’s residents.
In a further incident, settlers damaged two Palestinian vehicles and sprayed four houses and several other vehicles with “price tag” graffiti in Shu’fat (East Jerusalem). Settlers also stoned two Palestinian-plated vehicles driving near Betar Illit settlement (Bethlehem), damaging one of them.
Settlers take over a residence in East Jerusalem; initial steps towards the expansion of a settlement in Bethlehem
On 5 November, a group of armed Israeli settlers forcibly evicted a Palestinian family of six (including three children) and took over their apartment in the At Tur neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Police forces were reportedly present outside the building at the time. The apartment was the only remaining Palestinian-inhabited residence in a building that had been taken over in 2006 by settlers associated with the El Ad settler organization. The settlers, who claim that they had purchased the building in 2005, were granted possession of the building by order of an Israeli court.
Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 10
2012 weekly average: 7
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinian injuries by settler violence:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 141
Injured in 2011: 206
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 3 vs. 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 38
Injured in 2011: 37
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 1 vs. 1
On 24 October, the Israeli Civil Administration announced in the Palestinian media a new outline plan to re-zone an area of around 200 dunums in order to expand the Efrat settlement (Bethlehem) into the surrounding area. The area has been declared “state land” despite the fact the Palestinian residents of Al Khader village claim ownership. In Artas, another area close to the same settlement, residents reported that Israeli settlers had began bulldozing a large area south of the village, in preparation for construction; here, too, the residents claim ownership of the land.
Communities at risk of eviction due to military training
Dozens of families in the herding communities of Humsa, Hamamat Al Maleh, Hamamat Al Maleh Al Burj and Hamamat Al Maleh Al Meitah in the northern Jordan Valley were issued eviction orders by the Israeli army, in advance of a military training exercise. The communities are located in or near areas designated as a “firing zone”. In Humsa, close to Beqa’ot settlement, four families are at risk of displacement after receiving eviction orders giving them three hours notice to leave the area. In the Al Maleh area, around 50 families received eviction orders instructing them to leave the area, some within 48 hours. For the second time within the last few months, these orders place hundreds of Palestinians at imminent risk of (at least temporary) displacement.
Approximately 18% of the West Bank has been designated as a “firing zone” or closed military zone for training. Some 5,000 Palestinians reside in the 38 communities located in the “firing zones”, many of which existed prior to the closing of the area. These residents face constant threat of displacement and have high levels of humanitarian need. Consequently, they are among the most vulnerable Palestinian communities. The ten Israeli settlement outposts located in “firing zones” rarely face enforcement measures by the Israeli authorities.
Sporadic shooting and clashes continue; one civilian killed near the fence
Following recent escalation in hostilities, the situation in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel was relatively calm during the reporting period. Although no Israeli air strikes were reported during the week, there were sporadic exchanges of fire and shooting of projectiles. A number of incidents affecting civilians also took place in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) along the perimeter fence and the coast.
On 4 November, Israeli forces stationed in an observatory tower shot and killed a 23 year-old mentally-challenged Palestinian, while he was walking within the ARA at a distance of approximately ten meters from the fence. It was not until two hours later, following coordination with the Israeli military, that a Palestinian ambulance was permitted to reach the area to retrieve the body. In addition, on at least three occasions during the past week Israeli forces fired warning shots at farmers working their lands in the vicinity of the fence, forcing them to leave the area. Israeli forces also detained in the same area two Palestinian youths (aged 17) who were allegedly attempting to infiltrate into Israel.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
Killed this week: 1
Killed in 2012: 71
Killed in 2011: 108
Injured this week: 1
Injured in 2012: 291
Injured in 2011: 468
2012 weekly average of injured: 8
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Israeli casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
Injured this week: 3
Injured in 2012: 19
Israeli restrictions on fishing areas beyond three nautical miles from the shore also continued this week. The Israeli navy used water cannons to attack a Palestinian fishing boat carrying Palestinian fishermen and three international activists, forcing the boat ashore and damaging the activists’ cameras. On a number of other occasions, Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore. No injuries or damage were reported.
While firing of rockets by Palestinian factions towards southern Israel continued, fewer incidents were reported, none resulting in Israeli casualties or property damage. However, on 31 October, a Palestinian woman was injured in the Rafah area of Gaza when a rocket landed short and hit her house.
On 6 November, three Israeli soldiers on patrol near the fence sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED), reportedly planted by Palestinian armed groups, exploded near their vehicle in an area east of Khan Younis.
Gaza authorities demolish two residences, displacing ten people
On 5 November, the Gaza authorities demolished two residential structures, reportedly built on “state land” in the Beit Lahiya area of northern Gaza. Approximately 10 people were displaced, including six children. According to one of the residents, the government had sent an eviction notice prior to the demolition, but the affected residents could not afford to move as they were not offered compensation. In two other incidents, in July and September this year, the Gaza authorities demolished more than one hundred residences in Gaza City and Beit Lahyia, on the same grounds.
Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing)
Number of truckloads (TL) entered this week (28 Oct – 3 Nov): 904
For more information, please contact Mai Yassin at firstname.lastname@example.org or +972 (0)2 5829962.