Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 1 - 14 August 2017
On 17 August a Palestinian man blew himself up east of the Rafah crossing, in the Gaza Strip, killing a Hamas security staff and injuring four others.
● On 13 August, Gaza’s sole power plant turned off one of two operating turbines due to a shortage of fuel, extending power cuts to 22 hours per day, up from 18-20 hours previously. Since 21 June, the GPP has been operating with fuel imported from Egypt, however, the deliveries have been repeatedly disrupted triggering shortages. This has further disrupted the already stressed provision of basic services, including health, water and sanitation.
● Two men were injured by Palestinians in two separate stabbing attacks. On 2 August, a Palestinian man from Yatta (Hebron), stabbed and injured an Israeli civilian inside a supermarket in the city of Yavne, Israel. On 12 August, a Palestinian woman stabbed and injured a Palestinian security guard of the light rail company in East Jerusalem. The two perpetrators were arrested. In another incident on 5 August, assailants opened fire at the Beit El/DCO checkpoint (Ramallah) from a moving vehicle, with no injuries reported; three Palestinian suspects were arrested. The checkpoint was closed and reopened on 8 August.
● 61 Palestinians, including 12 children, were injured across the oPt during clashes with Israeli forces, most of which erupted during protests and search and arrest operations. Of these injuries, 13 were recorded in clashes near Gaza’s perimeter fence, and the rest in the West Bank, with the highest number of injuries occurring in the Ramallah governorate. These figures represent a sharp decline compared to the previous reporting period, which witnessed massive confrontations and casualties in the context of protests against Israeli measures in the Haram ash Sharif/ Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem.
● The Israeli authorities demolished three houses and sealed a fourth on punitive grounds in villages of Deir Abu Mash’al (3) and Silwad (1) in the Ramallah governorate, displacing 19 Palestinians, including 6 children. The three homes in the first village belonged to the families of the perpetrators of an attack that took place on 16 June in East Jerusalem and killed an Israeli policewoman. The other home belonged to the family of the suspected perpetrator of a ramming attack that took place on 6 April near Ofra settlement, in which an Israeli soldier was killed.
● Thirteen other structures were demolished or seized in Area C and East Jerusalem on grounds of lack of Israeli-building permits, displacing 19 Palestinians, including 7 children, and affecting the living conditions of another 128. Six of the structures targeted had been provided as humanitarian assistance to two vulnerable herding communities in Area C: Abu Nuwar (Jerusalem) and Khashem ad Daraj (Hebron). In the former community, one of 46 at risk of forcible transfer in the central West Bank, the authorities seized solar panels providing electricity to the local school.
● In the Gaza Strip, four Palestinians (identify unconfirmed) were injured northwest of Gaza city and two schools sustained damage, as a result of Israeli airstrikes on 9 August, reportedly targeting military installations. The attack followed the firing of a projectile by a Palestinian armed group, which landed in southern Israeli with no injuries or damage reported.
● On at least 18 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire to enforce Gaza’s Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea, with no injuries reported, however, two fishermen were arrested and the work and livelihoods of Palestinian farmers and fishermen were disrupted. On three occasions, Israeli forces carried out levelling and excavation activities inside Gaza, along the perimeter fence.
● On 14 August, UNRWA announced the sealing of a tunnel running under two of its schools in the Maghazi Refugee Camp, in the Gaza Strip, which was discovered last June.
● The Egyptian authorities exceptionally opened the Rafah Crossing between 14 and 17 August for Palestinian pilgrims with valid visas to travel to Mecca. As of 16 August, 2,371 pilgrims in addition to 320 Palestinians with urgent humanitarian needs were allowed to leave. The crossing was last opened for the exit of people on 8 March and for entry on 9 May. The Rafah Crossing has been closed with sporadic exceptions subject to restrictions, since 24 October 2014.
● Three incidents of stone throwing and one incident involving the hurling of Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles in the West Bank were reported by the Israeli media, resulting in damage to at least six vehicles and the total destruction of another, which caught fire.
● Seven Palestinians were injured, and approximately 100 olive trees and two vehicles were burned in various incidents attributed to Israeli settlers. The injuries include three men physically assaulted in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron, and four children injured in an incident involving an Israeli settler vehicle in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem. Near Aqraba (Nablus), settlers reportedly set on fire some 100 olive trees and prevented the Palestinian fire brigade from reaching the site. In Umm Safa village (Ramallah) Israeli settlers set on fire two Palestinian vehicles and sprayed racist and price tag graffiti on the walls of a nearby Palestinian house.