Reporting period: 10 — 16 March 2015
● Israeli Israeli forces injured 42 Palestinians, including 13 children, in various clashes across the West Bank, including 21 in the context of demonstrations against the closure of village entrances and settlement construction and during a tree planting event. Most incidents involved Palestinian stone-throwing at Israeli forces. Of this week's injuries, 44 per cent of all injuries (18, including nine children), were shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition, and the rest injured mainly by tear gas inhalation, rubber bullets and physical assault.
● Israeli forces conducted 90 search and arrest operations and arrested 107 Palestinians in the West Bank, with the Hebron governorate accounting for the highest proportion of operations (23), while the highest number of arrests (32) was recorded in Jerusalem.
● At least 23 incidents involving Israeli forces opening 'warning' fire into Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea were recorded this week, none of which lead to injury or property damage. Israeli forces entered Gaza near Al Maghazi Refugee Camp and carried out land leveling on one occasion. Also, three Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces while attempting to cross into Israel without permits.
● Seven Israeli settler attacks resulting in Palestinian injuries or property damage were recorded, including the physical assault and injury of two men in Hebron and East Jerusalem; the uprooting of 72 olive trees in At Tuwani (Hebron) and Al Khadr (Bethlehem); and vandalism to four vehicles and several water tanks.
● One Israeli settler woman was injured and two Israeli-plated buses damaged as a result of Palestinian stone throwing in three separate incidents in East Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. Israeli forces carried out a search and arrest operation in connection to two of these incidents, arresting 19 Palestinians, including a child.
● In the West Bank, the Israeli authorities demolished 30 Palestinian structures in Area C (22) and Jerusalem (8) for lack of Israeli-issued building permits. The targeted structures included 13 residences, leading to the displacement of 78 people, an electricity network, a factory, and seven livelihood-related structures. Two of the latter were funded by an international donor in an area of East Jerusalem designated as a national park.
● Israeli authorities announced the lifting of permit requirements for Palestinian men over 55 and women over 50, holders of West Bank ID cards, to access East Jerusalem and Israel. This is the first such announced easing in permit requirements ever since Israel began conditioning entry of all West Bank ID holders into East Jerusalem and Israel on obtaining Israeli-issued permits in the early 1990's, with the exception of temporary relaxations during the month of Ramadan. Implementation of the policy has yet to be seen at the checkpoints.
● Gaza-produced eggplants and tomatoes were allowed into Israeli markets for the first time since the imposition of the blockade in 2007. This follows a series of easing measures implemented by the Israeli authorities in recent months, including the resumption of commercial transfers from Gaza to the West Bank.
● The Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing in both directions on 9 and 10 March, allowing 649 Palestinians to leave and 477 people to cross into Gaza. The crossing has been continuously closed since 24 October 2014, following an attack in Sinai, except for 13 days, on which it was opened, but with restrictions.
● Seventeen separate protests recorded across the Gaza Strip, including against the longstanding Israeli blockade and ongoing closure of Rafah; demanding payment of salaries to over 40,000 public employees; calling for acceleration of Gaza reconstruction, and in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. A 27-year-old Palestinian attempted to set himself on fire next to an UNRWA office, protesting the lack of employment opportunities in Gaza, but was curtailed by an UNRWA security staff.