Area C demolitions continued this week, displacing 19 people and undermining the livelihoods of over 100 others due to the destruction of water cisterns and other agricultural structures. Since the beginning of 2011, 823 people have lost their homes due to demolitions, more than double than in the same period of 2010. The communities targeted are among the most vulnerable, and many of them have already exhausted their coping mechanisms.
Area C: 26 structures
Demolition of Palestinian-owned structures in Area C due to a lack of Israeli-issued building permits resumed this week, after a one-week lull. Overall, the Israeli authorities demolished 26 structures in the villages of Kafr ad Dik (Salfit governorate) and Beit Ula (Hebron governorate).
The structures demolished in Kafr ad Dik include ten animal shelters, four seasonal residential tents, two agricultural rooms and a water cistern. As a result, the livelihoods of 55 people, including at least 20 children, were affected. In three different locations in the Beit Ula village, the Israeli authorities demolished two agricultural rooms, two animal shelters, a residential tent and four water cisterns. These demolitions displaced 19 people, including 16 children, and affected the livelihoods of around 60 others, including 40 children. Since the beginning of the year, at least 40 water-related structures have been demolished throughout the West Bank, which severely affects livelihoods and further restricting access to scarce water supply.
Also in the Beit Ula village, the Israeli authorities uprooted 300 olive and almond trees claiming that the land is defined as “state land” and was seized illegally by a Palestinian family; the latter, however, argue that they own the land.
Israeli air strikes resumed;
four Palestinians injured
After two weeks of calm, with no reports of casualties or air strikes, four Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces launched an air strike and opened fire in two separate incidents in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian factions also continue to fire rockets at southern Israel, resulting in no injuries or damage to property.
On 1 October, the Israeli Air Force launched an air strike against a house in the Beit Hanoun area, where allegedly members of a Palestinian armed faction were present, injuring three Palestinians, including an elderly woman and two allegedly armed men. The house and a house nearby sustained damage as a result.
Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas up to 1,500 meters from the fence continue to result in casualties and hinder the livelihoods of thousands of people. In at least four separate incidents this week, Israeli forces opened warning fire towards a group of workers collecting scrap metal near the fence, injuring a 17-year-old boy. Restrictions on access to sea beyond three nautical miles from the shore also continued to affect the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Palestinian fishermen. The Israeli Navy opened fire towards Palestinian fishing boats on at least three occasions, forcing them ashore. No injuries or damage were reported.
Tunnels continue to claim
lives; one killed
In one incident on 2 October, a Palestinian worker died as a result of electrocution while he was working in one of the tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border. Since the beginning of 2011, 31 Palestinians have been killed and 51 others injured in tunnel-related incidents, including air strikes, tunnel collapses and electrocution. The Egyptian security forces also located and sealed off three tunnels. While tunnel activity has declined since the Israeli decision to ease the blockade on 20 June 2010, it remains a main source for the transfer of construction materials that are still restricted through the official crossing with Israel, as well as fuel that is significantly cheaper to buy from Egypt than in Israel.