In the West Bank, at least 65 Palestinian demonstrators were injured in clashes with the Palestinian police in the context of widespread protests against increases in the price of basic goods.
Continued decrease in number of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces
This week, 43 Palestinians, including 14 children, were injured by Israeli forces, fewer than the number of Palestinians injured on average per week thus far in 2012. Most of these injuries (23, including seven children) were sustained in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya), during a weekly demonstration against the prohibition on the use of the main road connecting the village to Nablus City, and to agricultural land in the vicinity of Qedumim settlement. An international activist was also treated for tear gas inhalation. Seven Palestinians, including three children, were injured during protests at Qalandiya checkpoint (Jerusalem), in solidarity with Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails. Similar protests in solidarity with prisoners resulted in three injuries near Ofer prison and Beituniya checkpoint (Ramallah) and one injury to a female journalist outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces
Injured this week: 43
Injured in 2012: 2128
2012 weekly average of injured: 59
2011 weekly average of injured: 28
Search and arrest operations by Israeli forces this week: 76
On 8 September, six Palestinians, including three children, were treated for tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces intervened following a clash between villagers from Qusra (Nablus) and settlers from Esh Kodesh settlement (see next section). Three injuries occurred during the weekly demonstration in Beit Ummar village (Hebron) against the denial of access to Palestinian farming land in Karmei Zur settlement; one during a search operation in An Nabi Saleh village (Ramallah); and one in Hebron city, where a man was injured in his leg with live ammunition, allegedly after throwing a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli checkpoint located on Al Shuhada Street.
Clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the Palestinian police result in multiple injuries
This week witnessed demonstrations by Palestinians throughout the West Bank to protest against rising food and fuel prices and unpaid Palestinian Authority (PA) salaries. Protestors held sit-ins and strikes, blocked roads and burned tires, and clashed with Palestinian security forces in a number of cities. In Hebron (on 5, 6, 7 and 10 September), approximately 50 Palestinians were injured in clashes outside PA institutions, police and fire brigade stations. In Ramallah on 6 September, a Palestinian man attempted to set himself and his daughter on fire to protest the cost of living increases, but was prevented from doing so by the Palestinian police. During a protest in Tubas governorate on 8 September, the Governor was injured by a stone and taken to hospital. On 10 September, clashes in Nablus in the vicinity of the municipality office and police station, between youths and Palestinian security forces, resulted in the injury of 25, including 10 police. The PA has announced a number of measures addressing some of the protestors’ demands.
Israeli settler violence continues to undermine agricultural livelihoods
This week, Israeli settlers carried out five attacks resulting in damage to Palestinian property, fewer than the 2012 weekly average of seven incidents per week. Two Israeli settlers were also injured by Palestinians during the week.
On 8 September, settlers from Esh Kodesh settlement outpost attacked a number of farmers from the village of Qusra (Nablus), while they were working their land, and damaged a well. Israeli forces intervened and six Palestinians, including three children, were treated for tear gas inhalation (see section above). The same day, settlers attacked and punctured the tires of six vehicles belonging to Palestinians in the Wadi Hilwa area of Silwan (East Jerusalem). In two separate incidents in Qalqiliya, settlers set fire to 150 olive trees in the village of Immatin and cut down 27 olive trees in Kafr Laqif. Settlers from Yizhar also cut down 18 olive trees in the village of Burin (Nablus). In separate incidents, an Israeli settler was injured by stones while driving near Kokhav Hashahar settlement (Ramallah), and another was reportedly injured by stone throwing while travelling by bus in East Jerusalem.
Improved access to agricultural land in Nablus
Following a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice, Palestinian farmers from the village of Beit Furik (Nablus) will be allowed to access 1,300 dunums of agricultural land in the vicinity of Itamar settlement, without prior coordination with the Israeli military. The coordination requirement has been imposed by the army for the past few years, due to systematic attacks by Israeli settlers against the farmers trying to reach their land, as well as the illegal fencing of the area. This measure placed the onus on Palestinian farmers to adapt to Israeli access restrictions, rather than on the Israeli authorities, who are responsible for enforcing the rule of law on settlers. At least 250 farmers cultivating olive trees in this area are expected to benefit from this measure.
Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 5
2012 weekly average: 7
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinians injured by settler violence:
This week: 0
Injured in 2012: 117
2011 weekly average: 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 2
Injured in 2012: 32
Injured in 2011: 37
No demolitions recorded in Area C; issuance of demolition orders
and seizure of agricultural land continued
No demolition by the Israeli authorities was recorded during the reporting period. However, on 11 September, a Palestinian from Silwan (East Jerusalem) ‘self demolished’ an extension to his house following the receipt of a demolition order from the Israeli authorities for lack of the requisite building permit. Six people were affected. On two separate occasions in the Hebron area, Israeli forces issued stop work orders due to a lack of building permits against an animal pen and a residential room in Beit Ula (affecting one family of 15 members); and against three animal pens, three residential tents, two latrine units and a water cistern in A Seefer community in the closed area between the Barrier and the Green Line, affecting four families of 40 members. Also in the Hebron area, Israeli forces levelled six dunums of agriculture land in Surif, uprooting olive trees and one dunum of agriculture land in Jaba’a.
In the village of Jurish (Nablus), Israeli forces levelled 24 dunums of agricultural land located in Area C, which has been rehabilitated through a project funded by the Dutch Government . Olive, fig and almond seedlings were uprooted, and stone walls, fences and iron gates demolished. The land levelling followed an evacuation order delivered in January 2012, issued on the grounds that the area is ‘state land’. Also in Nablus, Israeli forces issued a military order to requisition 800 dunums of agricultural land in the villages of Zawata, Injinsinia, Beit Iba and An Naqura, an extension of an existing order. The reason given for the order was ‘security needs’, as the land is located near a bypass road used by Israeli forces to access a military base. Hundreds of farmers are affected.
Six Palestinians killed and six injured as a result of Israeli military activities
During the reporting period, hostilities between Israeli forces and armed Palestinian groups inside the Gaza Strip and in southern Israel continued. On 5, 6 and 10 September, the Israeli air force carried out at least five strikes inside the Gaza Strip targeting Palestinian armed groups, military training bases and tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border. Six armed Palestinians were killed and six others, including five civilians, of whom two were children, were injured. Several houses and a police station sustained damage. Armed Palestinian groups fired several projectiles toward southern Israel and Israeli military positions near the fence separating Gaza and Israel, some of which dropped short inside Gaza or exploded prematurely. On 9 September, the Israeli media reported that two Grad rockets fired from Gaza Strip exploded in Beersheba city in southern Israel, damaging two houses.
Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas along the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip, as well as to fishing zones beyond three nautical miles from the Gaza shore, continued. On at least four occasions during the reporting period, Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered between 150 - 300 meters into the Gaza Strip to conduct land levelling and excavation operations before withdrawing. Also, on at least three occasions the Israeli navy fired warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore. While no injuries were reported, some fishermen reported damage to their fishing equipment.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
Killed this week: 6
Killed in 2012: 47
Injured this week: 6
Injured in 2012: 244
2012 weekly average of injured: 8
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Israeli casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
Injured this week: 0
Rafah Crossing opens in both directions
This week, for the first time since May 2011, the Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt for seven days in both directions; approximately 6,029 persons, including students, patients, foreign passport holders, and people with residency permits in foreign countries, reportedly exited the Gaza Strip to Egypt. Some 320 persons were denied access to Egypt for unknown reasons. Reportedly, 4,375 persons entered the Gaza Strip. According to the Border and Crossing Authority in Gaza, thousands of Palestinians are registered and waiting to leave Gaza but have not been able to do so due to ongoing restrictions imposed by the Egyptian authorities.
Power cuts continue to disrupt daily life inside Gaza
The Gaza Power Plant (GPP) is currently operating three out of four turbines (producing 70 -80 megawatts). The GPP needs over 3.5 million liters of fuel a week in order to operate at full capacity. However, less than 80 per cent of this amount was reportedly received from Egypt through the tunnels – the sole source of fuel currently being delivered to the GPP – over the reporting period. The transfer of the Qatari fuel through the official crossings has remained blocked by the Egyptian authorities since 6 August. Currently, the total electricity deficit rate reaches up to 50 per cent, forcing the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) to apply a strict distribution schedule of eight hours of electricity supply and eight hours of cuts.
Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing)
Number of truckloads (TL) entered this week: 1,525
TL carrying food: 48%
Weekly average of TL since the beginning of 2012: 1,069
Weekly average of TL before the blockade: 2,807
Truckloads this week: 0
Weekly average since the beginning of 2012: 5 Weekly average before the blockade: 240
According to local sources, including tunnel owners, the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt continued to only partially operate this week, due to new security restrictions on the Egyptian side. However, despite this limitation, approximately 800,000 liters of fuel are entering Gaza each day – half of which is designated for the GPP. On 9 September, the authorities in Gaza announced a price reduction on petrol coming through the tunnels (from 4.1 to 3.9 NIS a liter).
Please note that the figures in this report are subject to changes upon the receipt of additional information.