Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 24 January - 06 February 2017
Two Palestinian men were killed and five were injured following the collapse of a tunnel under the border between Gaza and Egypt on 9 February; the circumstances remain unclear.
● A 24-year-old Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces after he crashed with his car into the concrete blocks in front of an Israeli settlers' bus stop on Road 60 near Kokhav Ya’akov settlement (Jerusalem) on 25 January; no Israeli was injured. Two additional ramming incidents at Beituniya checkpoint (Ramallah) and at the entrance of Adam settlement (Jerusalem) resulted in the injury of four members of Israeli security forces and the arrest of the two suspected perpetrators (a man and a woman). In a separate incident on 25 January, Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man near Abud village (Ramallah), allegedly after he opened fire at an Israeli military tower. The Israeli authorities handed over five corpses of Palestinians suspected of perpetrating attacks against Israelis, while another six bodies are still being withheld.
● One Palestinian was killed and 36 were injured across the occupied Palestinian territory during multiple clashes with Israeli forces. The fatality, a 19-year-old youth, as well as five of the injuries, were recorded on 29 January, during a search operation in Jenin refugee camp. Most of the other injuries occurred in similar clashes during search and arrest operations; during the weekly demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya); and next to the Israeli perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip.
● On 6 February, an armed group in Gaza reportedly fired a projectile towards Israel, which fell in an open area resulting in no injuries or damage. In response, Israeli forces carried out a series of airstrikes and tank shelling attacks targeting sites, reportedly belonging to armed groups; two Palestinian civilians were injured during one of the airstrikes west of Beit Lahia (Gaza North). Damage to the targeted sites and to adjacent civilian property, including agricultural land and a chicken farm, was reported.
● On at least 52 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning or direct fire at Palestinians present in, or approaching the Israeli-imposed Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea in Gaza. While no injuries were reported, the work of farmers and fishermen was repeatedly disrupted. On another six occasions, Israeli forces arrested eight Palestinian civilians, including three children, allegedly after attempting to cross illegally into Israel through the Israeli-controlled perimeter fence. Also, on three separate occasions, Israeli forces entered inside Gaza and carried out levelling and excavation activities near the perimeter fence, and, on another occasion, arrested two fishermen and requisitioned their boat.
● Also in Gaza, two Palestinian civilians were injured when an explosive remnant of war (ERW) detonated while they were working on agriculture land in An Nuseirat refugee camp
● The Israeli authorities demolished 19 Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem and Area C on the grounds of lack of building permits, displacing 67 people, including 38 children, and affecting the livelihoods of 36 others. Also citing the lack of the necessary permits, the Israeli authorities sized eight construction-related machines and 12 meters of pipes in four Area C communities, including a vehicle used in the implementation of a project funded by the oPt Humanitarian Fund.
● Also in Area C, in Kharas village (Hebron), the Israeli authorities uprooted approximately 500 Palestinian-owned olive trees, stating that they were planted in areas designated as “state land”. Another 26 Palestinian trees were damaged near Bruqin village (Salfit) during the construction of a new water network to serve the Barkan settlement area.
● On 1 and 2 February, Israeli forces removed around 250 Israeli settlers residing in the Amona settlement outpost (Ramallah), along with hundreds of other Israelis who came to protest against the removal. The Israeli media reported that 42 security personnel and 15 demonstrators were injured in confrontations that took place during the operation; 13 people were detained. On 6 February, Israeli forces begun demolishing the existing structures in the settlement. These events followed a 2014 ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice ordering the removal of the settlers and demolition of the outpost, as it was established on privately-owned Palestinian land. The ruling, however, did not include arrangements enabling the land owners to regain access to the land.
● During the dismantlement of the Amona settlement, Israeli forces blocked 12 access points throughout the Ramallah governorate, including the main checkpoint into Ramallah city from the east, the main road between Silwad and Ein Yabrud villages, and a 15-km segment of Road 60, forcing people to use long detours. This negatively affected the movement of tens of thousands of Palestinians, particularly those commuting between the northern and southern West Bank. Some of the closures remained in place at the end of the reporting period.
● On 24 January, an Israeli settler organization took over a storage room in the Old City of Jerusalem following an Israeli High Court ruling on 20 December 2016, affecting two families of eight people, including two children.
● Six Palestinians were injured and 500 trees vandalized by Israeli settlers in various incidents. On 4 February, Israeli settlers clashed with Palestinians holding a demonstration against settlement activities in At Tuwani village (Hebron), as a result of which five Israeli settlers and three Palestinians were injured. Two Palestinians were injured following stone-throwing at their vehicles near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya (Nablus) and Huwwara (Nablus). Another Palestinian man was physically assaulted and injured by Israeli settlers, reportedly from Adei Ad settlement outpost (Ramallah), while en route to his land. Next to Al Khadr village (Bethlehem), more than 500 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were vandalized by Israeli settlers.
● Israeli media reported 26 incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli vehicles, which resulted in the injury of four Israeli settlers, including one infant, all near Bethlehem, and damage to at least several Israeli vehicles.
● The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was exceptionally opened on four days during the reporting period (28 to 31 January) in both directions, allowing 2,624 to leave and 3,095 to return to the Gaza Strip. This is the first time since the beginning of 2017 that the crossing was opened in both directions. Over 20,000 people, including humanitarian cases, are registered and waiting to cross, according to the Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip.