|Israeli soldiers shot and killed an adult and a boy in two incidents
On 15 January , Israeli military forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in the village of Budrus (Ramallah). Local sources indicate that the soldiers opened fire with live ammunition at a group of school students who approached the Barrier located in the vicinity of their school; the boy sustained three bullet wounds to the head, abdomen and chest. According to an Israeli media report, an initial internal investigation conducted by the IDF indicates that the use of force was contrary to their rules of engagement. A criminal investigation has been opened by the Israeli Military Police. The incident triggered protests and subsequent clashes with Israeli forces in Budrus and An Nabi Saleh villages (Ramallah); during the latter, three Palestinians were wounded, including a 13-year-old boy who was hit in the head with a tear gas canister.
Another Palestinian was shot with live ammunition and killed by Israeli forces near the Barrier next to Ar Ramadin village in the Hebron area earlier in the week (12 January). The 21-year-old man was part of a group of Palestinian workers trying to access Israel without permits.
On 12 January, five Palestinians were physically assaulted and injured by Israeli forces during the eviction of more than 100 Palestinian activists from a tent camp set up on a site between Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adummim settlement to protest the E1 settlement plan. Another four people were injured and 11 arrested two days later, when they attempted to access the site again. Following the upgrading of Palestine’s status at the UN last November, Israel advanced the approval of plans to build thousands of settlement housing units in the E1 project. There are 20 Bedouin communities within, and in the vicinity of E1, which, it is reported, the Israeli authorities are seeking to relocate out of the area.
The weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), protesting the longstanding closure of the main route into the village that passes through the Qedumim settlement, again resulted in clashes with Israeli soldiers; seven Palestinians, including an 11 year-old child, were injured (all due to tear gas inhalation). Following last week’s storm, the only open road to the village was flooded, resulting in the almost total isolation of the residents for 48 hours.
While the weekly protests against the Barrier and settlement expansion took place as usual and involved clashes with Israeli forces, they ended without casualties.
Six Palestinians injured during settler attacks
During the week, OCHA recorded three settler attacks that resulted in injuries to Palestinians or damage to their property; this is less than the average of seven incidents recorded per week in 2012.
Two attacks, which took place on 10 January in the Nablus governorate, involved groups of armed settlers who entered nearby Palestinian villages and clashed with local residents. One of the attacks was perpetrated by settlers from the Esh Kodesh and Kida settlement outposts against residents of Qusra village and the other by settlers from Yitzhar settlement against ‘Urif village. In the case of Qusra, settlers opened fire with live ammunition injuring one Palestinian. Israeli forces arrived at the scene in both instances and fired tear gas canisters, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition towards the Palestinian residents who threw stones at them, injuring one Palestinian in ‘Urif and four in Qusra. A total of 285 olive trees belonging to the Palestinian villagers were vandalized by Israeli settlers during these two incidents. These are the latest attacks perpetrated by settlers against these two villages; the systematic nature of such violence and harassment is undermining the physical security and the livelihoods of Palestinian residents in ‘Urif and Qusra.
In a third incident this week, a 14 year old Palestinian child was physically assaulted and sprayed with pepper gas by a group of Israelis in the Old City of East Jerusalem.