At least 160 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in demonstrations held in solidarity with prisoners who are on an open-ended hunger strike protesting the Israeli authorities’ use of administrative detention (imprisonment without charge or trial).
Power cuts of up to 12 hours per day throughout the Gaza Strip continue to disrupt the delivery of basic services and daily life in Gaza.
Dozens of injuries in demonstrations protesting prisoners’ conditions
This week, demonstrations were held almost daily in solidarity with over 1,600 prisoners on an open-ended hunger strike. The strike is being conducted to protest against the administrative detention (imprisonment without charges or trial) practiced by the Israeli authorities, as well as conditions of detention. Human rights groups have raised serious concerns regarding the deteriorating health of two of the administrative detainees, Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diyab, who have been on hunger strike for over 70 days.
During the protests, over 160 Palestinians, including at least 28 children, and four Israeli soldiers were injured, mainly at the Israeli Ofer Prison (Ramallah). This number also includes those injured during two other weekly demonstrations, held in protest against restrictions on access to agricultural land in the vicinity of the settlements of Qedumim (Qalqiliya) and Karmei Tzur (Hebron).
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces:
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 3
Killed in 2011: 11
Injured this week: 165; all in demonstrations
Of whom were children: at least 28
Injured in 2012: 913
2012 weekly average of injured: 48
2011 weekly average of injured: 28
Search-and-arrest operation by Israeli forces this week: 83 PRO
This week, OCHA recorded seven incidents that led to the injury of one Palestinian and damage to trees, items and vehicles owned by Palestinians. In one incident, settlers stoned a Palestinian-plated car traveling near Gush Etzion settlement block (Bethlehem), injuring the driver and causing damage to his vehicle. In two other incidents, settlers threw stones at Palestinian houses and vehicles in the Old City of Hebron and on old Route 60 in the Ramallah governorate (close to Bet El settlement), clashing with the residents and causing damage to at least one vehicle.
Also this week, settlers reportedly sprayed trees belonging to Beit Ummar village with a poisonous liquid, damaging 40 peach and plum trees and 15 olive trees, in one incident, and damaged the contents of an agricultural room near a spring belonging to the village of Al Lubban Ash Sharqiya (Nablus), in another.
Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 7
2012 weekly average: 6
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinians injuries by settler violence:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 48
2011 weekly average: 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 0
Injured in 2012: 15
Injured in 2011: 37
Two roads destroyed, affecting access for over 260 people; eight families in Jerusalem at risk of eviction
This week, the Israeli authorities bulldozed two agricultural roads and demolished two Palestinian-owned structures due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits.
In the Jordan Valley, the Israeli authorities bulldozed an agricultural road connecting Khirbet Yarza herding community (estimated population: 40) to Tubas City, which is also used by 200 other local farmers to access their agricultural land in Tubas, necessitating a one hour detour to reach Tubas, compared to the 20 minutes required previously. Another agricultural road in Al Makhrour village (Bethlehem), used by four families to access more than 50 dunums of land, was also bulldozed. Only the latter road received a demolition order. Since the beginning of 2011, seven roads located in Area C have been bulldozed due to a lack of permits. Also in Al Makhrour, a Palestinian restaurant was demolished for the same reason. In Al-Baq’a in the Hebron governorate, the Israeli authorities demolished a water collection pool that was used to irrigate five dunums of land..
Also this week, Israeli forces uprooted 500 olive and almond trees planted on 20 dunums of land belonging to Beit Ula village (Hebron), claiming that the land has been designated “state land”. Palestinians, however, claim ownership over the land. In addition, Israeli forces requisitioned two vehicles used by international NGOs to implement projects in two communities in south Hebron (Jinba and Al Fakhiet), on grounds that the area is closed for military training.
Moreover, the Israeli authorities issued demolition and eviction orders against at least eight residential structures, two animal shelters, an artesian well, and an agricultural road in the governorates of Hebron, Nablus, Qalqiliya and Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem). Five of the affected structures were funded by the UN Humanitarian Response Fund.
On 6 May, eight families in Khan Al Ahmar community in the Jerusalem governorate received eviction orders, indicating that they must evacuate their homes within 24 hours. The targeted homes were donated as emergency assistance by an international NGO and funded by an international donor. However, on 9 May, legal counselor of the affected families obtained a judicial injunction order with no expiration date, freezing the implementation of the eviction order. Khan al Ahmar is one of 20 Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem periphery at risk of being transferred from the area in the context of an Israeli “relocation” plan. Much of the affected area is planned for the expansion of the Ma’ale Adummim settlement (the so-called E-1 plan).
Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
Demolished in 2012: 278
People displaced in 2012: 477
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 15 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 26 vs. 213
Calm in Gaza continues; restrictions on access continue to undermine security and livelihoods
The situation inside the Gaza Strip remains calm, with no reports of Israeli air strikes or casualties. Palestinian armed factions fired a number of projectiles towards southern Israel. One of the projectiles landed east of Jabaliya, partially damaging an UNRWA school.
Incidents of shootings in the context of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas along the fence and to fishing zones beyond three nautical miles from the shore continued. In four incidents, Israeli forces opened warning fire towards Palestinian farmers, forcing them to leave the area. On two other occasions, Israeli tanks and bulldozers conducted incursions into areas at least 300 meters inside the Gaza Strip, and withdrew after conducting land leveling operations. In addition, the Israeli Navy opened warning fire towards Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore. Two fishermen were arrested and taken to Israel for interrogation. The fishermen were later released but their boat remained impounded.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 29
Injured this week:0
Of whom were children: 0
2012 weekly average of injured: 9
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Shortages of power and fuel continue disrupting the daily lives of 1.6 million people in Gaza
Due to the lack of fuel, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) continues producing only 25 megawatts (MW), or around one-third of its capacity (80 MW). As a result, almost since the beginning of 2012 the Gaza Strip has experienced severe power cuts, which currently reach up to 12 hours per day on average.
According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, power outages and fuel shortages continue to affect the provision of health services, including the postponement of elective surgeries. The MoH also reports that patients who are in critical conditions are at a particularly high risk, because life-support equipment is highly dependent on electricity and therefore especially vulnerable.
The amount of fuel supplied through the tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border is estimated at less than 10 percent of the amount (800,000 – 1 million liters) that entered regularly each day prior to the onset of the current fuel crisis, in December 2011. In an effort to compensate for the ongoing fuel shortage, Gaza private companies continue to import fuel, including petrol and diesel, from Israel although the price of fuel purchased from Israel is more than double the price of that smuggled from Egypt. According to the Gas Stations Owners Association (GSOA), almost all 180 fuel stations throughout the Gaza Strip remained closed or partially open due to the lack of fuel, with reports of long queues at the stations.AY 2012
Exports from Gaza remain barred
This week, one truckload of cut flowers exited the Gaza Strip to international markets, bringing the total number of exported truckloads since the beginning of 2012 to 143. The total number of truckloads that have left Gaza this year remains well below the monthly average of 475 truckloads in 2007, prior to the imposition of the blockade. The transfer of goods from Gaza to the West Bank and Israel has been prohibited since 2007
Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing):
Weekly average of truckloads (TL) entered this week: 1,288
TL carrying food: 39%
Weekly average of TL since the beginning of 2012: 955
Weekly average of TL before the blockade: 2,807
Truckloads this week: 1
Weekly average since the beginning of 2012: 8 Weekly average before the blockade: 240
2012: 10 Weekly average before the blockade: 240
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