Search operations and
demonstrations continue to
result in injuries
Clashes during weekly protests against Israeli measures, including Barrier construction and access restrictions, along with Israeli raids on Palestinian villages, resulted in the injury of 25 Palestinians. Fifteen of them, including two children, sustained injuries during weekly protests against access restrictions to land near Karmei Tzur settlement (Hebron governorate), Barrier construction in Al Ma’sara village (Bethlehem governorate), settler violence in ‘Iraq Burin village (Nablus governorate), and against the continued closure of the main entrance of Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya governorate), which leads to the main road linking Nablus to Qalqiliya. This week, Israeli forces conducted a total of 112 search and arrest operations in Palestinian localities throughout the West Bank, of which four resulted in eight Palestinian injuries.
Settler violence continues;
15 Bedouin families forcibly
During the reporting period, OCHA documented four settler attacks that resulted in Palestinian injuries or damage to property. In one incident, on 25 July, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian-plated vehicles near Hallamish settlement, injuring four Palestinians, including three women and a child (aged 7). In two additional incidents in the Nablus governorate, Israeli settlers reportedly set fire to agricultural land belonging to Burin village, damaging around ten olive trees, and killed a sheep belonging to a Palestinian shepherd in Qusra village.
Also this week, 15 Bedouin families, comprising around 110 people, residing in Al Baqa’a community near Ma’ale Mikhmas settlement (Ramallah governorate) dismantled their residential tents and moved to another location in the Ramallah area due to fear of settler violence and intimidation, after an assault carried out last week resulted in the injury of three children.
Four Bedouin families
displaced due to Area C
On 24 July, the Israeli authorities demolished 14 structures, including five residences, four animal structures and five external kitchens in Mughayir ad Deir Bedouin community, located in the vicinity of Ma’ale Mikhmas settlement in the Ramallah governorate, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, four families, comprising 28 people, including 20 children, were displaced. Demolitions recorded since the beginning of the year in both Area C and East Jerusalem have almost doubled compared to the equivalent period in 2010; consequently more people have been displaced thus far in 2011 than in all of 2010 or 2009.
In addition, the Israeli authorities delivered demolition and stop-work orders against 34 Palestinian-owned structures, including 15 residences, in East Jerusalem and the Tubas and Salfit governorates. Also, two eviction orders were issued against two Bedouin families in ‘Anata village (Jerusalem governorate).
Violence in Gaza declined
After three weeks of escalation, this week saw a decline in violence in Gaza, with no casualties reported. While there were no reports of rockets fired by Palestinian armed factions, the Israeli Air Force launched an air strike hit a military training base on 20 July, causing no injuries. Also this week, on 21 July, an alleged armed faction member died in a tunnel collapse in the Jabaliya area (north Gaza) inside the Gaza Strip.
Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas up to 1,500 meters from the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip continue to affect and disrupt the lives of thousands of Palestinians living inside or near the restricted areas. On two occasions, Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered approximately 200 meters inside Gaza and withdrew after conducting land leveling. Similar restrictions are enforced on access to fishing zones beyond three nautical miles from the shore.
Gaza authorities execute
On 26 July, the Gaza authorities executed two Palestinian men, who were sentenced to death in November 2004 after being convicted of collaboration with Israel and of murder. These executions bring the total number of people executed in the Gaza Strip since the Hamas take over in 2007 to eight. Of those executed, five people were convicted of collaborating with Israel in 2009 and three others of murder in 1996, 2004 and 2009 respectively. Between 1994 (establishment of the Palestinian Authority) and 2007, 13 people were executed in Gaza.
There are serious concerns that these executions are in contravention of international law. Under international human rights law the right to life is protected and the use of the death penalty is restricted to the most serious crimes under extremely limited circumstances. The death penalty can only be imposed by duly constituted courts and a trial which observes all fair trial guarantees, a condition which is practically impossible to meet in the current circumstances in Gaza. In addition, these executions were carried out without ratification by the president of the Palestinian Authority, a requirement under Palestinian law.
Movement through Rafah
Crossing remains limited
During the reporting period, a daily average of 620 people left Gaza to Egypt and another 510 entered Gaza per day, with around 170 people denied entry to Egypt for unspecified reasons. Due to ongoing restrictions on access into Egypt, passing into Egypt through the Rafah Crossing remains limited to specific categories of people, including patients, students, foreign passport holders and those with visas to other countries. The Border and Crossing authorities in Gaza continue to implement a registration mechanism, with nearly 30,000 people so far registered and waiting to travel in the coming months.