Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
4 December 2012
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
occupied Palestinian territory
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS WEEKLY REPOR
التقرير الأسبوعي لحماية المدنيين
28 NOVEMBER - 4 DECEMBER 2012
Palestinian farmers have been allowed to reach previously inaccessible areas along Gaza’s perimeter fence this week; however on several occasions, demonstrators trying to reach the fence were shot at by Israeli forces, resulting in one death and 30 injuries.
Demolitions in Area C and East Jerusalem resumed, targeting three residences, two water wells and a mosque; 24 people were displaced and around 90 others were affected.
One Palestinian killed and several injured
in clashes with Israeli forces
The number and impact of clashes recorded during the week was significantly lower compared to the previous two weeks, which were marked by widespread demonstrations in connection with the escalation in hostilities in Gaza and which resulted in connection to the hostilities in Gaza.
On 3 December, in the most serious incident this week, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 40-year-old Palestinian man who reportedly attempted to attack one of them with an axe. Prior to that, the Palestinian car which the man was driving reportedly crashed into an Israeli military jeep on the Nablus-Tulkarm road, causing the jeep to
turn over and injuring four soldiers.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces
Killed this week: 1
Killed in 2012: 8
Killed in 2011: 11
Injured this week: 19
Injured in 2012: 2,871
Injured in 2011: 1,460
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 60 vs. 30
Search and arrest operations by Israeli forces this
week: around 70
Also this week, eight Palestinians, including two children, were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in a protest organized by residents of Qaryut village (Nablus) against the closure of the road to the village that connects to Road 60; the road to the village has been closed for the last two weeks. In two other clashes in East Jerusalem, four Palestinians, including three journalists, were injured both during a protest organized in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and during a demolition in At Tur neighbourhood (see demolitions below). Two other Palestinians, including a 14 year-old child, were injured during search-and-arrest operations in Dura (Hebron) and Al Mazra’a al Qibliyeh (Ramallah) villages.
Of note this week, seven children were detained, including five children in Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem who were placed under house arrest.
Attacks against ‘Urif village in Nablus continue
In two incidents during the week, settlers from Yitzhar raided the nearby ‘Urif village (Nablus) threw stones at a school and some houses and clashed with villagers in two incidents on 29 November and 4 December. In both incidents, Israeli forces arrived at the village while the clashes were ongoing and fired tear gas canisters towards the Palestinians, resulting in injuries to two of them. There have been four attacks by settlers against ‘Urif villagers in the last three weeks. ‘Urif is one of six villages in the vicinity of Yitzhar settlement, which is systematically affected by settler violence.
In a similar incident, another Palestinian was injured when he was hit by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces; this occurred when the Israeli forces intervened in a clash between Israeli settlers and Palestinians, after settlers from Esh Kodesh settlement outpost (Nablus) accompanied with dogs, attacked Palestinian farmers working their land near the settlement.
On 28 November, Israeli settlers physically assaulted a Palestinian herder while he was grazing his sheep near Peza’el settlement (Jericho). In Abu Al’sja village (Hebron), settlers set fire to a car and wrote “Price Tag” graffiti on it. Also this week, Palestinians stoned Israeliplated cars driving near Halhul village (Hebron), injuring one Israeli settler.
Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries
or property damage:
This week: 2
2012 weekly average: 7
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinian injuries by settler violence:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 152
Injured in 2011: 206
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 3 vs. 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 44
Injured in 2011: 37
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 1 vs. 1
Twelve structures demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem
Following two weeks without demolitions, this week, the Israeli authorities demolished ten Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem due to the lack of building permits. In addition, two houses were demolished by their owners in East Jerusalem on the same grounds. In the community of Tell al Khashaba in Nablus, the Israeli authorities demolished a residential structure, displacing a family of five; an animal shed was also demolished. Two water wells and an agricultural shed were demolished in Al Fahs area and Beit Ula village in Hebron. In the course of the Beit Ula demolition, Israeli forces also uprooted around 650 olive and almond trees planted on around 35 dunums of land, implementing an earlier eviction order against the land. Around 40 people were affected. Other structures demolished included also a mosque in Umm Fagarah village in south Hebron, which had been demolished previously last year and re-built. In 2011 and 2012, four mosques were demolished due to the lack of building permit. In addition, an agricultural warehouse in Bardala village (Tubas) was demolished, affecting at least 20 people.
Palestinian-owned structures demolished in
the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
Demolished in 2012: 580
Of which residences: 181
People displaced in 2012: 1,038
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 12 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 22 vs. 21
Additionally, in the Sur Bahir neighborhood of East Jerusalem, a Palestinian demolished his house in order to avoid paying a fine after he received a demolition order; as a result 19 people were displaced, including eight children. Also in East Jerusalem, the municipality demolished a two-storey building in At Tur neighbourhood. The first floor was used as a storage room and the second floor contains an office and the waiting room of a dentist clinic. The livelihoods of 23 people were affected.
Although ceasefire holds, one civilian
killed and 26 others injured near the fence
The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which entered into force on 21 November, has continued to hold with no reports of rocket firing or air strikes. However, a number of incidents resulting in Palestinian casualties occurred in areas in the vicinity of the fence between Gaza and Israel.
While in the context of the understandings of the recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas many Palestinian farmers have, in practice, been allowed to reach their land that was previously inaccessible, the new restrictions on access to these areas have remained unclear. In some areas, farmers have been allowed to reach land located as close as 100 meters from the fence, with their equipment and vehicles. Prior to the recent events, farmers had been prevented from accessing land within 500 meters from the fence, while access to areas up to 1,000-1,500 metres has been limited since 2008.
However, on a number of occasions Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian demonstrators who were attempting to reach the fence. Preliminary information suggests that in some instances Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at the soldiers on the fence and in some instances Israeli soldiers fired warning shots at those approaching the fence. In one instance on 30 November, Israeli forces shot a 20-year-old civilian man who died of his wounds the following day. This is the second fatality in this context since the announcement of the ceasefire.
Thirty other Palestinian civilians, including six farmers and six children, were injured in similar circumstances during the week, bringing the total number of injuries since 21 November to around 54. In some areas, Hamas police forces have reportedly tried to prevent demonstrators from reaching the fence. On at least two occasions during the week, Israeli forces entered Gaza, conducted land leveling operations and carried out maintenance work to the perimeter fence.
Following the 21 November ceasefire, the Israeli naval forces have increased access to the sea for Palestinian fishermen from 3 to 6 nautical miles, moving sea buoys to 6 nautical miles. In a number of incidents since the ceasefire, the Israeli naval forces fired warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats that reached or exceeded the new limit, detained some 40 fishermen and requisitioned a number of boats.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the
Killed this week: 1
Killed in 2012: 240
Killed in 2011: 108
Injured this week: 30
Injured in 2012: 1,796
Injured in 2011: 479
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: 7
Injured in 2012: 251
Two workers killed in tunnel collapse
In two incidents on 2 and 3 December, two Palestinians died after two tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed while they were working inside. Dozens of tunnels targeted by Israeli airstrikes during the recent hostilities sustained significant damage. However, following repairs performed since the ceasefire, activities resumed and gradually increased, reportedly reaching 80 percent of the level observed prior to the escalation. Since the beginning of 2012, 16 workers were killed and 44 others injured in various tunnel-related incidents. Tunnels remain the main source for the transfer of certain goods, including construction materials whose entrance through the official crossings with Israel is restricted, as well as fuel that is significantly cheaper in Egypt compared to Israel.
Long power cuts continue in the Gaza Strip
During the reporting period, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) has continued operating at around half of its full capacity (producing 60 out of 120 megawatts (MW) of electricity) due to the ongoing fuel shortage. Only slightly over 50 percent of the GPP fuel needs (3.5 million liters) enter through the tunnels and a limited amount of Qatari-donated fuel entered this week through the crossings with Israel. As a result, electricity cuts throughout the Gaza Strip remain up to eight hours per day, which disrupts daily life and delivery of basic services. Also, there are daily long queues at petrol stations as a result of the lack of petrol and benzene throughout the Gaza Strip.
Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing)
Number of truckloads (TL) entered this week (25-30
TL carrying food: 49%
Weekly average of TL since the beginning of 2012:
Weekly average of TL before the blockade: 2,807
Truckloads this week: 0
Weekly average since the beginning of 2012: 4
Weekly average before the blockade: 240
Complete document in PDF format