|First fatality, a Palestinian boy, in 2015
On 14 January, near the Gush Etzion settlement area, Israeli forces shot with live ammunition and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy from Yatta (Hebron). According to the Israeli media, the incident occurred during a car-theft attempt, while the boy, together with another Palestinian, was escaping from a parking lot. The Israeli authorities reportedly opened an investigation into the case. This is the first Palestinian fatality recorded in the West Bank in 2015; in 2014, Israeli forces killed 56 West Bank Palestinians (including three in West Jerusalem), including 12 children, the largest fatality toll since 2007.
Also this week, Israeli forces injured 25 Palestinians, including ten children and three women, in various clashes across the West Bank, a marked decrease compared to a weekly average of 113 injuries during 2014.
Ten (40 percent of the injuries) of this week’s injuries occurred during clashes erupting in the context of three separate protests against the construction of the Barrier in Bil’in (Ramallah) and the longstanding closure of the entrance to Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya), and of the road linking Surif with Al Jab’a villages (Hebron).
An additional ten injuries by Israeli forces took place in the context of clashes triggered by search and arrest operations in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron. One of the largest such clashes occurred on 13 January in Beit Ummar village, resulting in the injury of three children and a woman, and the arrest of 18 Palestinians, including three children. Overall, Israeli forces conducted 92 such operations during the week, compared to a weekly average of 75 during 2014.
The remaining injuries include four boys (between 16 and 17-years-old) shot in four separate incidents involving stone throwing at Israeli forces near the Beituniya checkpoint (Ramallah), Ayda Refugee Camp (Bethlehem); in Beit Ummar (Hebron), and in Silwan (East Jerusalem).
Also this week, Israeli forces sealed/welded two shops on Ash Shuhada Street in the Israeli controlled part of Hebron City (H2), in response to the alleged throwing of a Molotov cocktail from the shop; Palestinians have denied this accusation. Palestinian access to this street has been prohibited or restricted by the Israeli authorities since 2002 and most shops closed by military order, citing the need to protect the Israeli settlements established in this area.