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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
1 July 2015

Reporting period: 23 - 29 June 2015

Weekly Highlights

A 23-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces as his vehicle was approaching the Hamra checkpoint (Nablus), which controls Palestinian movement to and from the Jordan Valley. According to the Israeli military, the man opened fire at the checkpoint before being shot. Following the incident, Israeli forces carried out a search operation in Al `Auja (Jericho), where the man lived, triggering clashes with residents, during which a 17-year-old boy was shot with live ammunition.

Four Israeli settlers were shot and injured while travelling on a road near a settlement outpost in the Nablus area, reportedly the shots were fired from a Palestinian-plated vehicle; one of the victims died of his wounds the following day. This is the second Israeli civilian killed in the West Bank during June. In another incident, a Palestinian woman stabbed and injured an Israeli border policewoman staffing the Gilo checkpoint, which controls Palestinian access into East Jerusalem from the southern West Bank; the Palestinian woman was arrested. Additionally, according to Israeli media, three property damage incidents were recorded, including the damage of an Israeli ambulance fired at multiple times, near Bet El settlement.

Israeli forces injured nine Palestinians, including two children, in multiple incidents across the West Bank. The injuries took place in clashes, including stone throwing at Israeli forces positioned at the northern entrance of Ar Ram town (Jerusalem); during the weekly demonstrations against the closure of one of the main entrances to Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya) and against the Barrier in Ni'lin (Ramallah); and during search and arrest operations in Askar Refugee Camp (Nablus) and Al Auja (above incident).

In the Gaza Strip, on at least eight occasions, Israeli forces opened fire towards civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea, and in one instance fired a missile at an olive farm in Belt Hanoun, resulting in no casualties. Damage to several boats and to crops that were set on fire as a result was reported.

Members of an armed group in Gaza fired a rocket towards Israel, which landed in open area, with no injuries or damage reported.

Five Israeli settler attacks resulting in injury or damage to Palestinians and their property were recorded, including the physical assault of two Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Hebron; arson of 20 dunums of land near At Tayba village (Ramallah); and damage to a vehicle as a result of stone-throwing near Majdal Bani Fadil (Jericho).

Five herding communities in the northern Jordan Valley were temporarily displaced from their homes for six hours to make way for an Israeli military training exercise. Around 600 dunums of land in these areas caught fire as a result of the trainings. The communities are located within areas designated by the Israeli authorities as "firing zones", which cover about 18 per cent of the West Bank. Since 2012, displacement in this context has become systematic, undermining the livelihoods and living conditions of the affected residents.

On the second Friday of Ramadan, around 120,000 Palestinians from other parts of the West Bank entered East Jerusalem through four designated checkpoints along the Barrier, compared to around 9,900 in 2014, and around 138,000 in 2013.

In response to several recent individual attacks by Palestinians, the Israeli authorities cancelled some of the relaxation measures implemented on the occasion of Ramadan. This week, the authorities revoked all permits issued to a few hundred of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to access East Jerusalem for the Friday prayers, and announced the narrowing of the age criteria defining West Bank Palestinians allowed to access East Jerusalem without permit. Residents of Sa'ir town (Hebron), home to the perpetrator of an attack last week, were barred from entering East Jerusalem, pursuant to announcements the previous week cancelling their permits in response to the attack.

Israeli naval forces intercepted a boat of activists, which attempted to break the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip and deliver humanitarian items to beneficiaries in Gaza. The boat was dragged to the Israeli coast. No violent clashes were reported.

The Rafah crossing was opened between 23 and 25 June in both directions, allowing 1,156 Palestinians, mainly patients and students, to leave and 408 people to enter Gaza. This brings to 25 the number of days in which the crossing has been partially opened since its closure on 24 October 2014, following an attack in Sinai. In 2015, so far 7,504 Palestinians exited Gaza via Rafah compared to 18,225 Palestinians during the first half of 2014.

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