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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
10 July 2012




    UNITED NATIONS
    Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    occupied Palestinian territory

PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS WEEKLY REPORT


التقرير الأسبوعي لحماية المدنيين

27 JUNE - 10 JULY 2012

Key issues
An Israeli settler attack on the village of Yanoun (Nablus) highlights the risk of displacement affecting Palestinian communities that suffer from systematic settler violence.

Residential structures provided as emergency assistance to families whose homes had been demolished were confiscated by Israeli forces displacing or otherwise affecting 15 civilians, including seven children.

Five Palestinian children were injured by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of 2012 one child has been killed and 26 others, including 17 children, have been injured by incidents related to UXO in Gaza.

WEST BANK

Clashes in weekly protests continue; settler attack increases the displacement risk for a Palestinian community in Nablus

During the two-week reporting period, 70 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank, most of them (57) during the course of demonstrations held in the village of Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) in protest of the continuous closure of the village’s main eastern entrance, and the requirement that the village’s farmers coordinate their entry into their lands near Qedumim settlement with the Israeli military. Four Palestinians were injured in an anti- Barrier demonstration in Bil’in, and a protest against the detention conditions at Israeli-run Ofer Prison, both in the Ramallah governorate.

Another five Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during a settler attack. On 7 July, a large group of Israeli settlers converged in an area near the village of Yanoun (Nablus) and attacked a group of Palestinian farmers and shepherds, who were working their lands during the period designated for their access agreed upon with the Israeli authorities. The incident evolved into clashes between both sides, following which, Israeli forces arrived at the scene and intervened, injuring five farmers. During the incident, Israeli settlers stabbed some of the Palestinian-owned livestock, killing three sheep, and set fire to some of the village land (size of the damaged area is still unclear). According to eye witnesses, in one case a 43-year-old farmer was handcuffed and blindfolded by Israeli troops, who then severely beat him., together with the settlers; he was left for four hours without medical treatment because settlers prevented the Palestinian ambulance from entering the area. All of those injured were evacuated to hospital.

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces
Injured this week: ; 71, in demonstrations 61
Injured in 2012: 1632
2012 weekly average of injured: 61
2011 weekly average of injured: 28
Search and arrest operations by Israeli forces this
week: 184

This attack highlights the risk of displacement for Palestinian communities, such as Yanoun, facing systematic settler violence. According to the head of the village council, in the past 11 years, a total of ten families have moved out of Yanoun due to a combination of factors, primarily settler violence, the inability to build new structures due to the community’s location in Area C, and access restrictions. In October 2002 the entire community fled following violent attacks by Israeli settlers from Itamar settlement. The residents began coming back the following day only with the accompaniment of members of international peace organizations, who have since provided protective presence in the village. In one incident of note during the period, a 28-year-old Palestinian was shot with live ammunition by a private Israeli security guard at the entrance of Ma’ale Adumim settlement (Jerusalem); according to the Israeli District Coordination Office, the man had attempted to take the security guard’s handgun. He was transported to hospital for medical treatment.

Other settler-related incidents resulted in more than 400 trees being damaged or destroyed. These included the burning of 300 trees near the settlement of Immanuel, belonging to ten families from Jinsafut village (Qalqiliya); the cutting down of eight trees near Qarnei Shomron settlement (Qalqiliya) and 41 olive tree saplings from Tell village (Nablus); the cutting down of 18 olive trees belonging to Beitillu village (Ramallah); and the damage to 70 trees in the village of Yatma (Nablus). In addition, several trees in the Umayyad palaces area, south of Al Aqsa Mosque wall, in East Jerusalem, were reportedly cut down by the Israeli settlers.

Incidents during the reporting period also highlighted the ongoing concern over the effect of conflict-related violence on children in the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron City (H2 area). In one incident of note, which was video recorded and publicized by the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, a nine-yea-old Palestinian boy was caught by two Israeli border policemen, physically assaulted and immediately released. In another incident, three Israeli children, all female, were injured due to stone throwing by Palestinians while playing in a playground.

Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 11
2012 weekly average: 6
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinians injured by settler violence:
This week: 4
Injured in 2012: 69
2011 weekly average: 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 4
Injured in 2012: 23
Injured in 2011: 37

Demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures continue, along with confiscation of internationally-donated humanitarian assistance in the Jerusalem area

During this period, the Israeli authorities demolished, due to lack of building permits, five Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem , including four shops in the Old City, and one storage facility in Al ‘Isawiya neighborhood; five Palestinian families were affected. So far in 2012, the Israeli authorities have demolished 40 structures in East Jerusalem, affecting the livelihoods of 290 people.

Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
This week:
Demolished: 5
Demolished in 2012: 383
Of which residences: 120
People displaced in 2012: 615
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 14 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 22 vs. 21

In Area C in the Jerusalem governorate, three internationally-donated residential caravans were confiscated by Israeli forces in the community of Beit Hanina Al-Balad, on the grounds that they lacked Israeli-issued building permits; a family of five, including three children, was displaced, and two other families were also affected. The caravans had been distributed as a humanitarian response to an Israeli demolition that took place in November 2011.

GAZA STRIP

Sporadic armed hostilities continue in Gaza and southern Israel

Despite the Egyptian-mediated “calm” agreement between armed Palestinian groups and Israel, during the two-week reporting period, intermittent armed hostilities continued in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. The Israeli air force carried out a number of air strikes and fired six missiles into the Gaza strip, mainly targeting military training bases, Palestinian armed groups, and open fields. No casualties were reported as a result, but several residential buildings sustained damages. Rocket and sniper fire by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli military positions near the separation fence and into civilian areas in southern Israel were also reported. Israeli sources reported that in one incident live ammunition fired from the Gaza Strip resulted in damage to two vehicles and a restaurant near the Yad Mordechai Junction in southern Israel.

In another incident, according to the Israeli media, Palestinian rockets struck an area near Israeli farmers working in the vicinity of the fence, and Israeli forces responded by opening fire towards the Gaza Strip, injuring one Palestinian civilian. Another Palestinian injury occurred when Israeli forces positioned near the fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire towards Palestinian scrap metal collectors north of Beit Hanoun.

Five children injured by UXO in Gaza

Five Palestinian children (between the ages of 2-15) were injured by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in an area southeast of Deir al Balah and in Al Bureij camp. According to UNMAS and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, in the first incident, a group of children, including the victims (four children), were playing in an olive orchard 800 meters from the fence separating Gaza and Israel when they found and carried an UXO to their home before it detonated. In the second incident, a 15-year-old boy was injured when a metal object exploded while he was hammering it. Initial reports indicate that the victim’s brother had found the object in a garbage dump near his house, east of Al-Buriej Camp.

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 45
Injured this week: 2
Injured in 2012: 239
2012 weekly average of injured: 9
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Israeli Casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
Injured this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 1
Injured in 2012:18

Since the beginning of 2012 one child has been killed and 26 others, including 17 children, have been injured by incidents related to UXO in Gaza. In 2011, three people, including two children, were killed and 24 others, including 17 children, were injured in similar incidents. The risks to the civilian population, children in particular, posed by UXO in Gaza remain of serious concern.

Shortages of power and fuel continue to disrupt daily life inside Gaza

Due to ongoing fuel shortages, during the reporting period the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) continued to operate only two turbines , producing around 42 MW by day, and 56 MW during night time hours, triggering power cuts of up to 12 hours per day. The entry of the Qatari industrial fuel to Gaza via the Israeli-controlled crossings of Nitzana and Kerem Shalom continued for the second successive month, with almost one million liters being delivered to the GPP between 27 June and 10 July. The overall amount of Qatari fuel that has entered Gaza so far (3.3 million liters) represents 11 percent of the 30 million liters schedule to be transferred from Egypt to the GPP. An additional 676,651 liters of purchased Israeli industrial fuel was also delivered to the GPP between 27 June and 7 July.

The majority of Gaza’s 1.6 million residents are still experiencing difficulties accessing basic services including water, waste water treatment and health services. The lack of electricity and fuel exacerbates already difficult conditions precipitated by Israel’s blockade of Gaza Strip, with common disruptions to basic services and daily life.

Two truckloads of furniture and garments left Gaza to regional and international markets

Between, 24 June and 7 July, two truckloads of furniture and garments left Gaza to Jordan and the United Kingdom, respectively. This is Gaza’s fourth shipment of non-agricultural exports to regional and international markets since the imposition of the blockade in 2007.

The first non-agricultural export for international markets (one truckload of woolen sweaters) exited the Gaza Strip on May 2012. This brings the total number of truckloads that have left Gaza since the beginning of 2012 to 150. This figure remains well below the monthly average of 954 truckloads that exited in early 2007, the large majority of them to markets in the West Bank and Israel. These two markets have remained inaccessible for Gaza businesses since the imposition of the blockade.

Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing)
Imports:
Two weeks average of truckloads (TL) entered
between 24 June and 7 July: 2,534
TL carrying food: 43%
Weekly average of TL since the beginning of
2012: 1,046
Weekly average of TL before the blockade: 2,807
Exports:
Truckloads this week: 00
Weekly average since the beginning of 2012: 7
Weekly average before the blockade: 240

Also of note, between 3-5 July the Israeli authorities allowed the entry to Gaza, through the Sufa Crossing, of 20,000 tonnes of aggregates for construction, which had been stored at the crossing since its closure in September 2008. Since 2008, the crossing has been opened a number of times on an ad-hoc basis; however, until this week, the materials entered were always only those allowed for international agencies and preapproved projects by the Israeli authorities. This is the first time that such materials, considered by Israel as “dual use” items, are allowed for use by the private sector.

For more information, please contact Mai Yassin at yassinm@un.org or +972 (0)2 5829962.


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