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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
30 April 2015

Reporting period: 21 - 27 April 2015

Weekly Highlights

Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinians in separate incidents in the West Bank. Two of the incidents, resulting in the killing of a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, occurred on 25 April in the context of the stabbing, and alleged attempt to stab Israeli forces in Hebron city and at Az Za’ayyem checkpoint (Jerusalem), respectively; a border policeman was injured during the former incident. The third case, resulting in the death of an 18-year-old youth, on 28 April, of wounds sustained the day before, occurred in unclear circumstances near the Barrier in Araqa village (Jenin). This brings the number of Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces in West Bank so far in 2015 to nine, compared to ten in the equivalent period of 2014.

Another 49 Palestinians, including 11 children and four women, were injured by Israeli forces in various clashes. 84 per cent of the injuries were reported during clashes with Palestinian stone-throwers in the context of protests: in East Jerusalem against the above-mentioned killing of a Palestinian boy, as well as in weekly protests against settlement expansion in An Nabi Saleh (Ramallah) and the longstanding closure of one of the main entrances to Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). On 23 April, a 16 –year-old student was injured due to tear gas inhalation and over 200 other students had to be evacuated from As Sawiya Secondary Girls School (Nablus) due to heavy tear gas firing by Israeli forces at a group of youth, following claims by settlers of stone throwing at passing vehicles.

At least 18 incidents involving Israeli forces’ opening fire at Palestinian civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea were recorded in the Gaza Strip. One of the incidents led to the injury of a farmer at approximately 300 meters from the perimeter fence. Additionally, a 17-year-old child was shot with live ammunition and injured during clashes between Israeli forces during a demonstration near the fence. On at least one occasion, Egyptian naval forces opened fired towards Palestinian boats approaching Egyptian waters, northwest of Nuseirat, causing damage to two boats.

● On 23 April, members of the armed groups in Gaza fired two rockets from Beit Hanoun towards Israel, one of which landed in an open space in Israel while the other fell short and landed inside Gaza. Following the incident, Israeli air forces reportedly fired at least one missile at a Hamas military site. No injuries or damage were reported on either side.

Five Palestinian children were injured by unexploded ordnance (UXO) across the oPt: two children, five and six-years-old, from Azzun Atma (Qalqiliya) were injured when playing with an unexploded sound grenade near the Barrier; and three others, ages between 13 and 15, were injured when tampering with a UXO west of Gaza City.

A 17-year-old boy was physically assaulted by settlers near Al Ibrahimi Mosque (Hebron) and 165 olive trees and grapevines owned by Palestinians were vandalized, reportedly by Israeli settlers, in two separate incidents near the settlement of Karmei Zur (Hebron) and the settlement El Azar (Bethlehem). Additionally, two pregnant women and their husbands were injured when an Israeli- plated vehicle ran them over with his vehicle nnear Al Nabi Elyas village (Qalqiliya), and fled the scene.

An Israeli settler was injured as a result of stone throwing by Palestinians at a bus in At Tur area in East Jerusalem, and damage to an Israeli settler’s vehicle hit by a Molotov cocktail was reported near Beit Ur al Tahta (Ramallah).

The Israeli authorities demolished five Palestinian residential structures in Abu al ‘Ajaj Bedouin area of Al Jiftik town in the Jordan Valley (Jericho) for lack of Israeli-issued building permits in Area C, displacing four families (25 people).

Fuel delivery for the operating of the Gaza Power Plant was halted between 22 and 25 April due to the closure of Kerem Shalom during the Israeli holidays, which was followed by damage to the fuel pipelines on the Palestinian end, bringing electricity outages from 12-16 hours per day to up to 20 hours per day, and eventually rendering the two functional turbines inoperable.

In Gaza, two Palestinians were killed in accidents, reportedly while working in tunnels used to smuggle commercial goods from Egypt, including an 18-year-old who died of electrocution and a 26-year-old killed due to a tunnel collapse. While smuggling activities from Egypt largely came to a halt by mid-2013, a small number of tunnels have reportedly continued to operate on an irregular basis.

The Rafah crossing was closed in both directions by the Egyptian authorities during the week. The crossing has been continuously closed since 24 October 2014, following an attack in Sinai, except for 12 days, on which it was opened, but with restrictions. The crossing was last exceptionally opened on 10 March 2015.

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