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.