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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
12 October 2010
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
occupied Palestinian territory
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS
6 - 12 October 2010
Israeli forces killed two armed militants and injured 18 civilians
During the week, Israeli forces killed two armed militants and injured 18 civilians, including ten children, in various incidents throughout the West Bank. The majority of injuries (13) took place during demonstrations. In addition, four Palestinians were injured when an Israeli military jeep and a Palestinian vehicle hit each other. To date in 2010, 14 Palestinians have been killed and 956 others have been injured, compared to 18 and 709, respectively, in the same period in 2009.
In an overnight military raid on 8 October in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron City (H2), Israeli forces killed two Palestinian men affiliated with the armed wing of the Hamas movement (Izz Idin al Qassam), during exchange of fire. According to the Israeli military, the two Palestinians were suspected of shooting and killing four Israeli settlers in late August. During the armed clash, Israeli bulldozers partially demolished a three-storey building where the armed Palestinians were hiding. As a result, three apartments (one of which was inhabited) and a storage room were totally destroyed, and three shops in the building were damaged. Three people were displaced and 24 others, including six children, were otherwise affected by the demolitions.
In another Israeli raid in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, a ten year old child was injured when Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces. Overall this week, Israeli forces conducted around 100 search and arrest operations throughout the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), slightly above the weekly average of such operations in 2010 (90). Also this week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned the continued wave of arrests of Hamas activists by the PA security forces and expressed concern over reports about the maltreatment of some of the detainees.
Thirteen Palestinians, including seven children (aged between 12 and 17), were injured in the course of demonstrations that evolved into clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, including a protest against last week’s settler attack on the Beit Fajjar mosque, and other weekly demonstrations against the construction of the Barrier, access restrictions and the expansion of a settlement. This week, an Israeli military court sentenced the Palestinian Coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements to a 12-month imprisonment on charges of incitement.
The remaining four Palestinians were injured in the course of a demolition (three; see item on demolitions below) and during an alleged attempt to infiltrate into Israel in the Hebron area.
Settler violence heightened in context of olive harvesting
Israeli settlers injured six Palestinians, including three children (aged between ten and 15) and an elderly man. Overall, OCHA documented 19 incidents during the week involving Israeli settlers resulting in Palestinian injuries or damage to property, significantly above the weekly average for such incidents in 2010 (5). A number of incidents of intimidation and access denial were also reported.
Thirteen (13) of the 19 incidents recorded this week took place in the context of the olive harvest. In three of these incidents, settlers clashed with Palestinians who were harvesting their olive trees in the villages of Kafr Laqif (Qalqiliya governorate) and Burin (Nablus governorate). As a result, four Palestinians were injured. In another incident, Israeli settlers injured an Israeli activist working on the harvest with Palestinians near the Suseya settlement.
Another ten incidents, allegedly perpetrated by Israeli settlers, resulted in damage to trees and agricultural property. In one of these incidents, about 2,000 olive trees belonging to Palestinians from the village of Yanun (Nablus) were vandalized, according to the villagers, by Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement outpost of Gid’onim. In another incident, Israeli settlers from the Adei Ad outpost (Ramallah governorate) allegedly sprayed olive trees from the villages of Turmus’ayya and Al Mughayyir with chemicals damaging dozens of trees. According to Al Mughayyir village council, around 200 olive trees in both villages have been damaged in similar incidents in the past two months. In three separate incidents, settlers allegedly uprooted dozens of olive trees on land owned by villagers from Turmus’ayya (40) and Dura al Qar’a (20) in the Ramallah area and Burin (10) in the Nablus area. The recurrent and systematic setter attacks on Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest are contributing to the erosion of a source of livelihood for many Palestinian families.
In the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, an Israeli settler drove into a group of Palestinian children, while the latter were stoning his vehicle, injuring two of them (aged 10 and 11). Also in the Old City of East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers, who took over eight of nine residential units in a Palestinian building in late July, threw out all the belongings of the evicted families (comprising 36 people), damaging some furniture.
During this week, a number of incidents involving stone and Molotov cocktail throwing at settler vehicles were recorded in the Ramallah and East Jerusalem areas, resulting in damage to one car.
Demolitions and stop-work orders continue
In addition to the demolitions that occurred during the fatal incident on 8 October in Hebron City (reported above), the Israeli authorities demolished a residential tent and a water cistern used for watering villagers’ flock near Bani Na’im village (Hebron governorate), due to the lack of a building permit affecting the livelihoods of over 20 people. Similarly, in the Hebron area, the Israeli authorities issued stop-work orders against nine structures consisting of residential tents and mobile bathrooms in a number of hamlets located south of Yatta village. The orders affect 98 people, including 53 children. In 2010, 293 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished throughout the West Bank (mainly Area C), including East Jerusalem, displacing 366 people. In comparison, 278 structures were demolished in the same period in 2009 and 520 persons displaced.
Israeli air strikes and access restrictions continue; 12 Palestinians injured
During the reporting period, Israeli forces injured 12 Palestinian civilians, 11 of whom were wounded during air strikes. In 2010, a total of nine Palestinian civilians were killed and 101 injured in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli airstrikes, constituting 41 and 55 percent respectively of all civilian deaths and injuries by Israeli forces.
The Israeli Air Force carried out a number of air strikes during the reporting period, some of which reportedly took place in response to rockets fired by Palestinian factions towards southern Israel. In one incident on 7 October, an air strike hit a military training base located northwest of Gaza City, injuring six civilians and damaging 30 buildings and three cars in the vicinity. Another air strike carried out the same day targeted a vehicle allegedly carrying armed Palestinians. While the missile fired missed the targeted car, five civilians, including two children (aged 10 and 2), travelling in another car nearby, were injured. No Israeli injuries or damage to property by Palestinian rockets were reported.
Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas located up to 1,500 metres from the fence (17 percent of Gaza’s territory) dividing Israel and the Gaza Strip continue. In one incident, Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian worker collecting scrap metal near the fence. This week’s injury brings the total number of Palestinians wounded near the fence in 2010 to 43. Israeli forces also carried out a number of ground incursions a few hundred metres inside Gaza, and withdrew after conducting land leveling. In one of these operations, Israeli forces detained a 14 year-old boy, allegedly because he was trying to infiltrate into Israel. The boy was later released.
Similar restrictions continue to be enforced on fishing areas located beyond three nautical miles from the shore. In one incident, the Israeli navy fired ‘warning’ shots at Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore. No injuries or damage to boats were reported.
Import of certain categories has increased. However, notable ongoing restrictions on the entry of building materials and the almost total ban on exports continue to impede economic recovery, as well as progress in addressing housing and infrastructure needs.
This week (3-9 October) saw a significant increase in the number of truckloads that entered Gaza compared to the previous period (1,102 vs. 624), as crossings were closed during much of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. However, this week’s figures represents around 40 percent of the weekly average of truckloads that entered Gaza in the first five months of 2007, before the imposition of the blockade. Food stuff continues to make up the majority of goods entering Gaza (56 percent), which before the blockade constituted less than 20 percent of total imports. This week, new machinery for the private sector
entered Gaza for the first time since June 2007. Also, 13 truckloads of construction materials for two large wastewater treatment plants were allowed in.
Despite increase in fuel imports, electricity production remains
This week, almost 2.2 million litres of industrial fuel entered Gaza for the operation of the Gaza Power Plant (GPP), the highest amount of fuel recorded in 2010, producing 60 MW of electricity. This amount is almost 30 percent above the weekly average of fuel in 2010, however, it represents only 70 percent of the estimated weekly needs of fuel of 3.15 million litres needed to operate the plant at its full current capacity (80 MW). As a result, the majority of the population in Gaza continues to experience electricity outages of 4-6 hours per day. The total provision of electricity throughout the
Gaza Strip now stands at about 30 percent below the estimated demand. Around 60 MW of power are produced by the GPP and 120 MW and 17 MW are purchased from Israel and Egypt, respectively. The increased amount of fuel purchased in recent weeks is possible now that the Gaza and Ramallah authorities have begun implementing a joint mechanism allowing increased revenue collection of the electricity bills.
Power cuts continue to affect people’s daily life throughout the Gaza Strip, including the provision of essential services, such as water supply, sewage treatment and removal, and the functioning of health services. Access to running water continues to be a daily challenge to the population. 20 percent of Gazans living in areas including Gaza City, Rafah and Jabaliya, have access to running water only once every five days (6-8 hours). 50 percent only have water once every four days (6 hours), and 30 percent receive water once every two days (6-8 hours).
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