Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 4-18 April 2017
● On 19 April, a Palestinian man drove his vehicle into an Israeli settler at the Gush Etzion junction (Hebron), injuring him, and was subsequently shot and killed by Israeli forces, according to Israeli media reports.
● An Israeli soldier and a British woman were killed in two separate Palestinian attacks. On 6 April, a 22-year-old Palestinian man ran his car into Israeli soldiers standing at a bus stop near Ofra settlement (Ramallah), killing one soldier and injuring another; the perpetrator was later arrested by Israeli forces. This brings the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians since the beginning of 2017 to five, all of which were soldiers. Also, on 14 April, a 57-year-old Palestinian man, reportedly mentally ill, stabbed and killed a 21-year-old British student while travelling on the Israeli light train near the Old City of Jerusalem, and was subsequently arrested.
● On 10 April, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy died of wounds he sustained on 23 March after being shot by Israeli forces near Al Jalazun Refugee Camp (Ramallah). The opening of fire took place in response to the throwing of firebombs towards Beit El settlement. Another Palestinian child was killed during the same incident and two other Palestinians were injured.
● Overall, 46 Palestinians, eleven of them children, were injured by Israeli forces in multiple clashes in the West Bank. Most of the injuries occurred during the weekly demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) against the prohibition on the residents’ use of the main road connecting the village to Nablus City because it passes through Qedumim settlement. Other clashes were reported over the course of five search and arrest operations and at a funeral of the boy killed in Al Jalazun Refugee Camp.
● On 17 April, Gaza’s sole Power Plant was forced to shut down completely after exhausting its fuel reserves. This occurred in the context of an ongoing dispute between the Palestinian authorities in Gaza and Ramallah on issues related to fuel payments and taxation. The shut down of the Power Plant has increased the daily electricity cuts across the Gaza Strip to up to 20 hours daily. This further undermines the delivery of basic services, including the operations of health facilities, which have reported low levels of emergency fuel reserves needed to run backup generators.
Also in the Gaza Strip, on at least 26 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire into the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea; while no injuries were reported, the work of farmers and fishermen was reportedly disrupted. On four occasions, Israeli forces also carried out levelling and digging operations inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence. Additionally, six Palestinian civilians were arrested by Israeli forces and another three by the local police in Gaza, allegedly while attempting to cross illegally into Israel.
● In the West Bank, Israeli authorities demolished 20 Palestinian-owned structures on the grounds of lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to acquire. Twelve of these structures were in East Jerusalem and the remaining eight structures were in two communities in Area C (Rantis and Furush Beit Dajan). Overall, 49 Palestinians were displaced and 33 others affected.
● Two Palestinians were injured and over 200 trees vandalized in separate incidents involving Israeli settlers. A14-year-old Palestinian girl was physically assaulted and injured by settlers while she was on her way to school in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city. A Palestinian woman was injured following stone-throwing by Israeli settlers at her vehicle near Salfit. Farmers from Mikhmas village (Jerusalem) reported that 215 of their olive trees had been uprooted, attributing the damage to Israeli settlers from the adjacent settlement outpost of Migron.
On various occasions during the reporting period, Israeli settlers and other Israeli groups entered various religious sites on the occasion of Passover celebrations, triggering altercations and clashes with Palestinians, with no injuries reported; the affected sites included the Al Haram Ash Sharif/Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem, a shrine in Kifl Haris village (Salfit), and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus city.
● Multiple incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail-throwing by Palestinians against Israeli-plated vehicles resulted in the injury of three Israeli settlers and damage to at least ten vehicles, while another Israeli vehicle sustained damage after being shot by live fire on Road 1 near Jericho, according to Israeli media reports.
● The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the entire reporting period. According to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza, over 20,000 people, including humanitarian cases, are registered and waiting to cross Rafah. Rafah Crossing has been opened exceptionally on only 12 days in 2017.