Continuing low level of clashes and injuries
As in previous weeks, a relatively low level of confrontations between Palestinian civilians and Israeli forces was recorded during the reporting period.
Six Palestinians were injured this week in clashes that erupted during three search-and-arrest operations carried out by Israeli forces in Nablus City and Jenin refugee camp. The overall number of such operations during the week, however, remained well below the weekly average recorded since the beginning of the year (50 vs. 80). In addition, two Palestinians, one international activist and one Israeli soldier were injured in two weekly demonstrations against the construction of the Barrier in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages in Ramallah.
Clashes also took place near Migdal Oz settlement (Bethlehem), when Israeli forces dismantled a tent erected by Palestinian and international activists that had been set up in protest at the expansion of the nearby Gush Etzion settlement bloc; no casualties were reported. This is the third time that this tent was erected by Palestinian activists and dismantled by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2013.
Four Israelis and one Palestinian injured and at least 100 olive trees vandalized
During the reporting period, OCHA recorded four incidents involving Israeli settlers that led to injury or property damage, half the weekly average of such incidents so far in 2013 (8).
On 28 July, Israeli settlers physically assaulted a Palestinian family while passing near the Al Ibrahimi Mosque in the old city of Hebron and injured a pregnant Palestinian woman. In East Jerusalem, settlers vandalized 12 Palestinian vehicles in the Ash Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on 25 July. Owing to its strategic location, Israeli settler groups have in recent years made persistent efforts to take over land and property in Sheikh Jarrah in order to establish new settlements in the area. In another incident on 25 July, Palestinians threw stones at a number of Israeli buses traveling near the Old City of East Jerusalem, injuring four Israelis.
In an incident resulting in damage to property on 25 July, Israeli settlers set fire to approximately 100 olive trees belonging to Mikhmas village (Ramallah), bringing the total number of Palestinian trees damaged by Israeli settlers this year to over 7,200. This is almost 20 per cent per cent higher than the figure for the equivalent period in 2012.