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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
29 January 2013

2013 رياني/يناثلا نوناك 29-23 يعوبسأ ريرقت

Key issues

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the week; six Palestinian civilians have been killed in the oPt so far in 2013. The Humanitarian Coordinator expressed his serious concern about this trend, stating that “using live ammunition against civilians may constitute excessive use of force and any such occurrences should be investigated in a timely, thorough, independent and impartial manner. Individuals found responsible must be held accountable”.

Six Palestinian civilians were injured by the Israeli military near Gaza’s perimeter fence; this is despite recent agreements allowing Palestinian access to areas up to 100 meters from the fence.


    A Palestinian woman killed in an incident in Hebron area

    On 23 January, an Israeli army officer shot and killed a 21 year old woman and wounded another woman near Al Arroub refugee camp (Hebron). According to Israeli media reports, the officer opened fire after being targeted by a molotov cocktail, while he was travelling in a private vehicle on Road 60 (the main north-south route) in the Hebron area. The deceased woman was reportedly hit while she was on her way home from al-Arroub College. The Israeli Military Police has opened an investigation into the case. The incident sparked clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the same location, which ended with no injuries. A Palestinian boy died on the same day of injuries he had sustained on 18 January during an incident at the entrance of Ayda refugee camp in Bethlehem (reported last week). These cases bring the number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of 2013 to four, including two minors.

    Other clashes with Israeli forces this week resulted in the injury of 34 Palestinians. Thirteen Palestinians, including three children, were injured during clashes with Israeli forces when Palestinian and international activists attempted to construct a tent compound in ‘Anin village (Jenin) in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. Additional confrontations that led to the injury of 13 Palestinians erupted at the At Tayba-Efrayem terminal, which controls access between Israel and the West Bank in the Tulkarem area, during a protest triggered by a delay in the opening of the terminal.

    Three Palestinians were injured in another incident during a home demolition in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem (see below). Five Palestinians were injured on 25 January in two weekly demonstrations in Ramallah against the expansion of Hallamish settlement on land belonging to the village of Nabi Saleh and the erection of the Barrier in Bil’in.

    Two Palestinians and one Israeli settler injured in various incidents

    In the course of the week, OCHA recorded six incidents of settler violence resulting in injuries or property damage. Two other incidents resulted in injury of Israeli settlers and damage to their property.

    In two separate incidents on 26 January, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and injured a man and a 15 year-old boy in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron City (H2). Israeli forces detained the injured boy, allegedly for stone-throwing. He was released the next day. On 29 January, a Palestinian stabbed and injured a 17 year-old Israeli settler youth at Za’tara checkpoint (Nablus).

    Near Yitzhar settlement in Nablus, Israeli settlers reportedly damaged around 50 olive trees belonging to the nearby Burin village. Burin is one of the six communities in the vicinity of Yitzhar which are systematically affected by settler violence. In 2012, OCHA recorded 35 incidents related to Yitzhar settlement that led to injury to Palestinians or damage to their property. In another incident in Nablus, settlers uprooted 53 Palestinian-owned olive seedlings near Bracha settlement. Also on 25 January, hundreds of settlers planted hundreds of olive saplings and erected tents on a land in the Khallet el Fahm area (Bethlehem), in an attempt to take over the land. Palestinians from the nearby Al Khader village claim ownership over the land.

    In another incident on the early morning of 27 January, a group of Israeli settlers entered the village of Beitillu (Ramallah) and threw stones at a Palestinian house, damaging its windows.

    They also attempted to enter the house. Two days earlier, settlers accompanied by Israeli forces raided the village of Sabastiya (Nablus) late at night and broke a lock to enter a water spring area. In recent years, Israeli settler activity in the West Bank has significantly impaired Palestinian access to, and use of, water springs. Springs are the single largest source of water for irrigation in the West Bank and many Palestinian families who are not connected to the main water network rely on springs for their domestic and livelihood needs.

    Also on 27 January, an Israeli bus sustained damage while travelling on Road 60 near Hizma village. It remains unclear whether the bus was shot at by live ammunition or whether the damage was the result of stone-throwing. Israeli forces conducted a search operation in the area following the incident

    Seventeen structures demolished, displacing around 40 persons

    The number of demolitions recorded this week was lower than the previous week. This week, 14 demolitions were recorded in Area C and three in East Jerusalem.

    In two separate locations in Al Jiftlik community in the Jordan Valley, the Israeli authorities demolished five residential structures and three animal shelters, displacing 33 people, including 20 children. Water tanks and pipes, as well as several trees, were also damaged in the course of the demolitions. Another residential tent, fodder storage, a kitchen and a tent containing beehives were also demolished in the Bedouin community of Hammamat el Maleh in the Jordan Valley, displacing nine people, including six children. These demolitions bring the total number of structures demolished and/or confiscated and people displaced in Jordan Valley communities in the past two weeks to around 230, including at least 80 children.

    Additionally, On 24 and 28 January, two structures, including a commercial structure and a fence were demolished in Sabastiya village (Nablus) and the Farsh al Hawa area (Hebron), respectively, affecting a total of 23 persons, including 11 children. On 28 January in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished one structure containing a kitchen and a bathroom belonging to one family, and a parking lot and an entrance to the house belonging to another family. In the course of the demolitions, Israeli forces also injured three people, damaged a sewage pipe and some belongings and uprooted more than 100 trees. At least 38 people were affected.


    Incidents involving the use of force continue near the perimeter fence, resulting in injuries to Palestinians

    While the overall situation inside the Gaza Strip has remained relatively calm since the announcement of a ceasefire understanding on 21 November, incidents in the context of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access near the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip continue, resulting in injuries to Palestinians. This is despite agreements relating to the ceasefire understanding allowing Palestinian access to areas up to 100 meters from the fence.

    In three separate incidents on 25 and 29 January, Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who were approximately 200 meters from the fence, east of Jabaliya, and 300 meters in Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya incidents. As a result, seven Palestinians, including a 13 year-old child, were injured. At least ten incidents of shooting at farmers, herders and workers collecting scrap metal near the fence were also recorded during the reporting period. No injuries were reported but five goats and a donkey were killed in one incident.

    Similar Israeli measures are being taken inside fishing zones located beyond six nautical miles from the shore. On five occasions this week, Israeli naval forces opened fire towards Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore; none of the incidents resulted in casualties or damage to property.

    One killed and five injured in tunnel collapse

    On incidents on 27 and 28 January, one Palestinian worker died and five others were injured when two tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed. Since the beginning of 2013, five workers have been killed and 11 others injured in similar incidents. In 2012, at least eight workers were killed and 25 others injured in various tunnel-related incidents. Tunnels, some of which are poorly built, remain the main source for the transfer of certain goods into the Gaza Strip, including construction materials and fuel, which are either restricted from entering Israeli-controlled crossings, or purchased at cheaper prices from Egypt.

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