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


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



PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS WEEKLY REPORT


التقرير الأسبوعي لحماية المدنيين


19 DECEMBER 2012 - 1 JANUARY 2013


Key issues

Multiple settler attacks result in the injury of six Palestinians, the displacement of five and damage to over 230 trees.

15 people displaced and around 160 others affected due demolitions in Area C and East Jerusalem.

Following the ceasefire understanding, Israel and Egypt allowed the entry into Gaza of limited amounts of gravel for the private sector and for Qatari-funded projects.



WEST BANK

Multiple injuries in a search-and-arrest
operation in Tubas

The reporting period recorded a relatively low number of clashes and injuries. The main exception concerns an incident on 1 January 2013 in Tammoun village (Tubas), involving violent clashes between residents and Israeli forces during an arrest operation. The clashes began when an undercover unit carrying out the arrests was discovered, following which, a larger number of Israeli forces were dispatched to the village. The clashes resulted in the injury of 53 Palestinians, including nine children, the majority of whom were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, as well as two soldiers (according to Israeli media). Four other Palestinians, including a child, were injured in search-and-arrest operations in ‘Urif (Nablus), Rummana (Jenin), Yatta (Hebron) and Kafr ad Dik (Salfit).

Also on 20 December, a 12-year-old Palestinian female child was injured in her leg after an unexploded ordnance (UXO) blew up in the area in which she was playing in Hamamat AL Maleh (Jordan Valley). The area is designated by the Israeli military as a firing zone for training, resulting in the frequent displacement of this community (see displacement section below).

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces

Killed during the reporting period: 0
Killed in 2012: 9
Killed in 2011: 11

Injured during the reporting period: 63
Injured in 2012: 3,032
Injured in 2011: 1,460
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 58 vs. 30

Weekly average of search and arrest operations by
Israeli forces during the reporting period: 70


Settler violence remains high

During the two-week reporting period, OCHA recorded 15 settler incidents that led to injuries to Palestinians or damage to property, roughly the same as the 2012 weekly average (seven incidents).

In two separate incidents in East Jerusalem (24 and 27 December), two Palestinian boys (15 and 17 year-old) were physically assaulted and injured by groups of Israelis next to Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods. Another Palestinian was physically assaulted and injured next to the Esh Kodesh settlement outpost in (Nablus). Also, Palestinians stoned Israeli-plated vehicles driving on Road 443, injuring one Israeli.

Three other Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets fired by Israeli forces that intervened in clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli settlers from Esh Kodesh and Kida outposts near Qusra village (Nablus). In two separate incident (26 and 31 December) involving residents of the same outposts, more than 230 olive trees and seedlings belonging to residents from Qusra village were vandalized (according to village sources). In another incident, settlers uprooted eight trees belonging to Yasuf village (Salfit), bringing the total number of trees damaged by settlers in 2012 to around 8,600. Another three incidents involved setting fire to Palestinian property. On 24 December, Israeli settlers entered the village of Al Khalayleh (Jerusalem) and reportedly set fire to a residential structure, damaging it and displacing five people, including three children. Israeli settlers also set fire to four Palestinian-owned vehicles in Beit Ummar village (Hebron) and Majdal Bani Fadel village (Nablus) and sprayed “price tag” graffiti on the vehicles in both cases. Settlers damaged 11 other vehicles in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Salfit governorates by stoning them or slashed their tires.

Over 20 structures demolished in Area C
and East Jerusalem

Between 23 December 2012 and 1 January 2013, Israeli authorities demolished 23 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. The demolitions led to the displacement of 15 people.

In the Jabal al Mukabbir community, Israeli authorities demolished three residences, displacing 12 people, including two children, as well as a house under construction in the Al ‘Isawiya community (both communities are in East Jerusalem). Another house was demolished in the Area C part of Al ‘Ezariya (Jerusalem governorate) displacing three people.


Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries
or property damage:
During the reporting period: 15
2012 weekly average: 7
2011 weekly average: 8

Palestinian injuries by settler violence:
During the two-week reporting period: 3
Injured in 2012: 164
Injured in 2011: 206
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 3 vs. 4

Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
During the two-week reporting period: 1
Injured in 2012: 49
Injured in 2011: 37
2012 vs. 2011 weekly averages: 1 vs. 1


Also during the reporting period, the Israeli authorities delivered stop-work orders against at least 20 houses in the Bethlehem and Hebron governorates.

Eight animal shelters were also demolished, including four in Bardalah (Jordan Valley), three in Al ‘Isawiya (East Jerusalem) and one in El ‘Ezariya (Jerusalem), affecting the livelihood of around 160 people. Among the remaining structures targeted during this period were two latrines in Khallet Zakariya (Bethlehem) and Al Isawiya and three agricultural rooms in El ‘Ezariya. During the demolitions in Al ‘Isawiya, Israeli forces seized a caravan, a bulldozer and four vehicles; and bulldozed over ten dunums of land.

Palestinian-owned structures demolished in
the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
During the two-week reporting period:
Demolished: 23
Demolished in 2012: 598
Of which residences: 191
People displaced in 2012: 886*
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 12 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 17 vs. 21

* Note that the figures about the total number of
people displaced in 2012 reported in previous weeks
have been revised.


On 27 December, the Israeli authorities informed five Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley (Hammamat el Maleh, Hammamat al Maleh al Burj, Hammamat al Maleh al Meiteh, Ras El Ahmar and Ibziq) to evacuate their homes from the early morning hours of 2 January to the evening hours of 3 January 2013 to make way for Israeli army military training exercise in the area. This is the fourth time in the past six months that such orders have been delivered to communities in the Jordan Valley. According to Palestinian sources, the orders targeted more than 60 families (total population estimated at more than 300). As of 2 January, approximately 60 Palestinian Bedouin families from Hamamat al Maleh area, Ras El Ahmar and Ibziq, evacuated their homes.



GAZA STRIP

The cease-fire holds despite friction near
the fence

The ceasefire understanding that was reached more than a month ago between Israel and Hamas continues to hold, with no reports of air strikes or rocket firing. However, violent incidents in the areas restricted by Israel along the perimeter fence and on the sea have taken place.

In the context of the ceasefire understanding, the Israeli military has continued prohibiting Palestinian access to areas within 300-meters from the perimeter fence, except for farmers who are being permitted to reach on foot up to 100 meters to work their land. In two demonstrations held on 21 December against current access restrictions, Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces stationed at the fence in the Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya areas; four Palestinian civilians, including two children (15 and 17 years old), were shot and injured. In another incident, four Palestinian civilians were arrested by Israeli forces near the fence, while reportedly attempting to infiltrate into Israel. On three occasions during the reporting period, Israeli forces entered a few hundred meters inside the Gaza Strip, withdrawing after leveling land.

On at least six occasions during the reporting period, the Israeli navy opened fire towards fishing boats sailing around the six-mile limit established following the ceasefire understanding, forcing them ashore. In one of the incidents, two fishermen were detained, taken inside Israel for questioning and released on the same day; their boat was requisitioned. Access to over 70 per cent of the Palestinian fishing space continues to be prohibited by the Israel military.

Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the
Gaza Strip:
During the two-week reporting period
Killed: 0
Killed in 2012: 246
Killed in 2011: 108

Injured: 4
Injured in 2012: 1,753
Injured in 2011: 479

2012 weekly average of injured: 34
2011 weekly average of injured: 9

Israeli casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
Injured during two-week reporting period: 0
Killed in 2012: 7
Injured in 2012: 251


Despite increase in electricity production,
long power cuts continue

During the reporting period, due to the increased fuel supply, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) operated three out of four turbines (up from two turbines in the last few weeks), increasing electricity production to 90 out of 120 megawatts (MW). Despite this improvement, the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip has continued experiencing power cuts of up to eight hours per day due to the high demand on electricity during winter that reaches 360MW. Fuel shortages continue impeding the operation of the GPP at its full capacity. Most of the fuel needed by the GPP to operate at its full capacity each week (3.5 million), was transferred through the tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, with no Qatari-donated fuel received through the Israelicontrolled crossings during the reporting period. Since 7 June 2012, only 29 percent of the 30 million liters of fuel donated by the Qatari government have been received.

Israel and Egypt ease restrictions on entry
of construction materials

On 30 December, the Israeli authorities allowed the entry of 20 truckloads of aggregates for the private sector. Following the imposition of the blockade in 2007, Israel implemented severe restrictions on the entry of construction materials into Gaza, which remained in place despite the easing of the blockade in June 2010. Since the easing of the blockade, only international organizations implementing projects preapproved by Israel have been allowed to import basic construction materials. While the recent development constitutes an important precedent, the volume of aggregates allowed in so far is extremely small compared to the existing demand. Additionally, it remains unclear whether this easing will be extended to other restricted items, particularly steel bars and cement. Also during the reporting period, Israel s approved the entry of 70 commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, for the first time since June 2007.

In addition for the first time since June 2007, the Egyptian authorities allowed the entry of 12 truckloads carrying 600 out of 100,000 tonnes of aggregates designated for the Qatari reconstruction projects via the Rafah crossings. While for the past years Egypt has been the main source for the supply of basic construction materials to Gaza, these materials are transferred via the tunnels and not via the Rafah crossing.

33 truckloads of produce allowed out to
overseas markets; the ban on the transfer
of goods to the West Bank continues

During the two-week reporting period, the Israeli authorities allowed 33 truckloads of agricultural produce to exit via Israel to overseas markets. This brings the total number of truckloads exported in 2012 to 250, including 212 truckloads to overseas markets (largely cash crops), and only 34 truckloads of date bars and four of furniture for humanitarian projects in West Bank. This constitutes a monthly average of less than 21 truckloads compared to a monthly average of 1,090 in the first five months of 2007. The majority of goods that exited Gaza prior to the blockade were sold in the West Bank and Israel; these markets have remained prohibited since.

Movement of goods (Kerem Shalom
Crossing)
Imports:
Weekly average of truckloads (TL) entered during
the reporting period (16- 29 Dec): 1,276
Exports:
Truckloads this week: 33

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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