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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
14 April 2016

Reporting period: 5 - 11 April 2016

Weekly Highlights

For the second consecutive week, there have been no Palestinian or Israeli fatalities recorded in the context of attacks or clashes; this is the longest period without deaths since the escalation of violence in October 2015.

A total of 104 Palestinians, including 17 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the oPt, the majority (82 per cent) in clashes during demonstrations. The largest number of injuries in a single incident (45 injuries) was recorded in Duma village (Nablus) by Israeli forces who intervened in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers when the latter marched towards the village, reportedly in solidarity with an Israeli settler being prosecuted for a July 2015 arson attack that resulted in the deaths of three members of a Palestinian family.

On at least 37 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire in the Access Restricted Area (ARA) at land and sea in Gaza, injuring a Palestinian fisherman and farmer, and arrested six others. On at least six occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land- levelling and excavation activities. On 8 April, an Israeli forces vehicle, which entered an area east of Gaza city, sustained damage as a result of the detonation of an explosive device. On 10 April, an exchange of fire took place between Palestinians and Israeli forces next to the perimeter fence surrounding Gaza, with no casualties reported.

Three Israelis, including a woman, were injured in three incidents in East Jerusalem and Nablus, and an Israeli settler vehicle sustained damage, along with a bus and segment of the Jerusalem light train, as a result of stone-throwing by Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the governorates of Bethlehem and Hebron. On 5 April, in Huwwara village (Nablus), Israeli settlers carried out a demonstration, following a stone-throwing incident, where they called upon shop owners to close their businesses through loud speakers. Israeli forces subsequently forced shops and businesses to close for several hours.

The Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) announced the closure of the investigation against a senior military officer who, on 3 July 2015, shot and killed a 17 year old Palestinian, suspected of throwing stones at his vehicle. The MAG accepted the officer's claim that he had aimed at the youth's legs but missed and hit him in the upper body, according to media reports. The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem condemned the decision and expressed concern about the existence of "impunity" for the killing of Palestinians.

Israeli forces continued to ban the passage of Palestinian males between 15 and 25-years-old through two checkpoints controlling access to the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city. This measure, which has been in place since 22 March, comes in addition to other severe restrictions on Palestinian access to this area in place since October 2015. Also in H2, a Palestinian girl was injured in a hit and run incident by an Israeli settler vehicle.

On 11 April, in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities punitively sealed the family home of a suspect involved in a stone-throwing incident in September 2015, that resulted in the death of an Israeli settler; two family members of the suspect were displaced. The Israeli Supreme Court accepted the petition of another three Palestinians suspected of involvement in the same incident and revoked the order that would have resulted in the demolition/sealing of their homes. Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli authorities have demolished or sealed on punitive grounds 12 homes and other structures, displacing 64 persons, including 27 children. This practice runs contrary to a number of provisions in international law, including the prohibition on collective penalties.

The Israeli authorities demolished, and in one case forced the owners to self-demolish, 71 structures, due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, including 23 structures that had been provided as humanitarian assistance. As a result, 159 Palestinians, including 75 children, were displaced and 326 others were otherwise affected. The largest incident (34 structures) took place in the herding community of Khirbet Tana (Nablus), located in an area designated as a "firing zone" for military training. A total of 69 Palestinians, including 49 children were displaced, as a result. This is the fourth wave of demolitions in this community since the beginning of the year. Following the previous incident, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Robert Piper, warned of the risk of forcible transfer facing the community. Of the total, 16 structures were demolished in

Bedouin communities, in the Jerusalem governorate, in an area allocated for the expansion of the Ma'ale Adumim settlement (El settlement plan) which would create a continuous built up area between this settlement and East Jerusalem. As a result, 55 Palestinian Bedouins, including 31 children, were displaced. The number of structures demolished or confiscated so far in 2016 (586) already exceeds the total for the whole of 2015 (547).

For the second consecutive week, Israeli authorities continued to prevent the import of cement into Gaza for the private sector, following allegations that a substantial amount had been diverted from the intended beneficiaries. The controlled import of cement into Gaza for the private sector had resumed in October 2014, as part of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, after a sweeping ban ongoing since the imposition of the blockade in June 2007.

The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the reporting period. The crossing has been closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 42 days of partial openings. Authorities in Gaza indicated that around 30,000 people with urgent needs, including around 3,500 medical cases, are registered to cross.

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