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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
25 September 2012



    UNITED NATIONS
    Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    occupied Palestinian territory



PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS WEEKLY REPORT


التقرير الأسبوعي لحماية المدنيين

19-25 SEPTEMBER 2012


Key issues
Two Palestinian policemen killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

Barrier checkpoint, Ras Khamis, sealed off, leaving Shu’fat checkpoint as a sole remaining opening for affected communities in the areas of Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Anata and Ras Khamis.

For the second time this year, the Israeli authorities allow seven truckloads of date bars to exit Gaza to the West Bank; the general ban on the transfer of products from Gaza to the West Bank and Israel continues.

WEST BANK

Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces and settler attacks

Thirty-three Palestinians, including a child aged four months, were treated for inhalation of tear gas fired by Israeli forces during a weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya) against the prohibition on the use of the main road connecting the village to Nablus City, and to agricultural land in the vicinity of the nearby Qedumim settlement. This is an increase compared to a weekly average of 22 injuries sustained in this protest since the beginning of 2012.

One Palestinian was also injured this week when hit directly by a tear gas canister, fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes with Palestinian stone-throwers at Qalandiya checkpoint (north of Jerusalem). Traffic jams were reported at the checkpoint during the clashes. Another clash, which took place during a search and arrest operation in Al Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron, resulted in the injury of a 17-year-old boy.

Also this week, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and injured two children (aged 8 and 13), while the children were in the yard of their house in the Old City of Hebron. Another man from Mikhmas village (Jerusalem) was physically assaulted and injured by Israeli settlers, while he was assessing the damage caused a few days earlier by another settler attack to some 150 olive trees belonging to him. In addition, an Israeli settler from Itamar settlement bulldozed some 100 dunums of privately-owned grazing land belonging to dozens of families of Huwwara and Burin villages (both in Nablus). According to the villages’ councils, settlers conduct systematic attempts to take over this piece of land.

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 4
Injured this week: 35 (34 in demonstrations)
Injured in 2012: 2,203
2012 weekly average of injured: 62
2011 weekly average of injured: 28
Search and arrest operations by Israeli forces this
week: 53

Also this week, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles driving near Taqu’ village, injuring a settler.

No demolitions or demolition orders; seizure and confiscation of Palestinian property continues

In Al Khalayleh, a village isolated by the Barrier in the Jerusalem governorate, the Israeli authorities issued a requisition order for military purposes targeting 14 dunums of land, four of which are planted with olive and almond trees. The owners were given one month to legally challenge the order.

Also this week, the Israeli authorities seized 16 cows belonging to Palestinian herders from Al Maleh community in the northern Jordan Valley, reportedly due to the cattle’s presence in an area designated as a “nature reserve”. A similar confiscation incident occurred in the same area over a month ago, affecting dozens of cows. About 10 percent of the West Bank, mostly in the Jordan Valley, has been designated since 1967 by the Israeli authorities as “nature reserves”, making these areas off limits for Palestinian use and development.

Sealing off of barrier checkpoint negatively affecting access to East Jerusalem

On 19 September, Israeli forces sealed off the Ras Khamis checkpoint, one of two Barrier checkpoints in that area used by East Jerusalem residents living in areas separated from the rest of the city by the Barrier (Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Anata and Ras Khamis). A ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice passed in 2008 determined that this checkpoint can be closed only once the other one (Shu’fat checkpoint) is expanded to include eight pedestrian and four vehicle lanes, according to Israeli media reports. At present, the checkpoint has six vehicles lanes (four leading to East Jerusalem and two into the refugee camp) and only one pedestrian lane; people using the latter are often delayed due to over-crowding, particularly during the early morning hours. Additionally, residents who were relying on the Ras Khamis checkpoint (estimated at more than 10,000) must now walk or travel two kilometers to reach the Shu’fat checkpoint.

Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 4
2012 weekly average: 6
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinian injuries by settler violence:
This week: 3
Injured in 2012: 129
2011 weekly average: 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 33
Injured in 2011: 37

Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
This week:
Demolished: 0
Demolished in 2012: 465
Of which residences: 136
People displaced in 2012: 676
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 13 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 21 vs. 21

GAZA STRIP

Airstrike kills two policemen and injures another

After a week of relative calm inside the Gaza Strip, on 19 September the Israeli air force targeted a police vehicle in the Rafah area. Consequently, two of the men who were travelling in the vehicle were killed and another was injured. According to the Gaza authorities, the policemen were on official duty, patrolling the border fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip. There were no reports of projectiles fired by Palestinian armed factions towards Israel during the reporting period.

In one incident on 24 September, a woman was shot and injured by Israeli forces while she was on the roof of her house, located 1,200 metres from the border fence in Al Bureij refugee camp; the circumstances of the incident remain unclear. A school in the area suspended its activities for one day for fear of increased military activities. In a separate incident near the fence, two Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces while reportedly attempting to infiltrate into Israel. These incidents continue to take place in the context of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to land near the fence.

Israeli restrictions on fishing zones beyond three nautical miles from the shore remain the main factor hindering the fishing sector in Gaza. On at least three occasions during the week, the Israeli navy opened warning fire towards fishing boats, forcing them ashore. One boat sustained damage as a result of shooting.

One killed and another injured in tunnel-related incidents

On 22 September, one Palestinian worker was killed and another injured when a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed while they were working inside. These casualties bring the total number of workers killed and injured in tunnel-related incidents since the beginning of the year to 12 and 42, respectively. Tunnels remain a significant source for the transfer of certain goods, including construction materials that are restricted through the official crossings with Israel, as well as fuel that is significantly cheaper to buy from Egypt than from Israel.

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:

Killed this week: 2
Killed in 2012: 55
Injured this week: 2
Injured in 2012: 257
2012 weekly average of injured: 8
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Israeli casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
Injured this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 1
Injured in 2012: 18

Also this week, on 20 September, a Palestinian man was killed when an unexploded ordnance (UXO) he was handling exploded. Since the beginning of 2012, two people, including one child, were killed and 22 others, including 15 children, were injured in incidents related to UXO in Gaza. In 2011, two children were killed and 20 others, including 11 children were injured in similar incidents.
Long power cuts continue; one child dies in an electricity-related incident

During the reporting period, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) operated two out of its four turbines due to the ongoing fuel shortage, producing only 60 out of 110 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Due to the electricity shortages, the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip has been experiencing power cuts of up to 12 hours per day, disrupting daily life and hindering the delivery of basic services. On 25 September, a three-year-old child died and his one-year-old sister was injured, when their house caught fire from candles lit during a power outage.

The incident triggered a demonstration against the lack of electricity in Gaza. Clashes took place between the demonstrators and security forces in Gaza. Almost six months ago a similar incident resulted in the death of three children.

In addition, due to fuel shortages, the rationing of fuel by Gaza petrol stations continues, with reports of long queues.

Seven truckloads of date bars exit Gaza to the West Bank

This week, the Israeli authorities allowed the exit of seven truckloads of date bars to support projects run by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the West Bank. This is the second such transfer since the beginning of 2012. Before the blockade, Gaza marketed on average around 240 truckloads carrying food, textiles and furniture per week (between January and June 2007), the large majority of them in the West Bank and Israel.

Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom Crossing)
Imports:
16-22 September
Number of truckloads (TL): 627
TL carrying food: 47%
Weekly average of TL since the beginning of
2012: 1,090
Weekly average of TL before the blockade: 2,807
Exports:
Truckloads this week: 7
Weekly average since the beginning of 2012: 5
Weekly average before the blockade: 240

Please note that the figures in this report are subject to changes upon the receipt of additional information.

For more information, please contact Mai Yassin at yassinm@un.org or +972 (0)2 5829962.


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