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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
25 August 2014

Key issues
Clashes during protests against the Gaza offensive continued: one Palestinian child killed and 79 Palestinians injured

Israel demolished 11 homes in area C, displacing 54 Palestinians

Gaza Crisis: For daily reports and updates on the Gaza emergency

A 14-year-old child killed and at least 79 Palestinians injured in clashes

During the week, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and injured at least 79 Palestinians, including 23 children and one woman, mostly in clashes during continued protests against the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported amongst Israeli forces.

On 25 August, a 14-year-old child died due to injuries sustained by live ammunition on 22 August, when shot by Israeli forces during a protest against the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, near the Beit Furik checkpoint (Nablus). This incident brought the number of fatalities in the West Bank since the start of the Gaza offensive to 20, of whom three were children. During the same incident, Israeli forces injured another 8 people, including four children by live ammunition, one of them nine-years old.

There were at least 22 incidents of clashes during protests against the Gaza events that resulted in injuries this week. The highest number of injuries were sustained in the governorates of Hebron (39 injuries) and Jerusalem (19). About half of this week’s injured were by rubber and rubber-coated metal bullets, approximately 28 per cent were injured by live ammunition and the remainder were medically-treated tear gas inhalation or physical assaults by Israeli forces.

The use of live ammunition as a crowd control method has been on the rise since the start of the protests against the Gaza offensive on 7 July: of the 2,218 injuries recorded in this period, 38 per cent were by live ammunition, compared to 14 per cent in the first half of 2014 and 4 per cent in 2013. Additionally, while the absolute number of children injured during this period (345 children) increased significantly compared to previous weeks, they account for 16 per cent of all injuries, a decrease compared to the equivalent figure during the first half of 2014 (29 per cent) and 2013 (32 per cent). This suggests a broader involvement of adults in demonstrations and clashes in protests since the Gaza offensive began, than in previous periods.

Intense search and arrest operations continue

During the week, a total of 96 search and arrest operations were recorded across the West Bank, compared to a weekly average of 86 in the first five months of 2014, prior to the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli youths on 12 June, and 75 on average per week in 2013. Overall, since that event, a total of 1,454 such operations have been recorded and around 2,100 Palestinians were arrested.

The highest number of search and arrest operations took place in the southern West Bank. During the reporting period 26 out of 96 search and arrest operations took place in Hebron and Bethlehem bringing to 505 the total of search and arrest operations in these governorates since 12 June. In one search and arrest operation in Hebron city on 19 August, Israeli forces physically assaulted a six-month pregnant woman, then detained and interrogated her in Kiryat Arba police station for around six hours. According to the woman, she was denied medical attention, and continued to bleed from an injury in her leg which required stitches. During the same incident, her brother was beaten on his broken leg and arrested.

According to information provided to OCHA from various sources, since 1 June, Israeli forces have raided 1,414 homes, causing damage in around 280 homes and affecting over 12,050 Palestinians in the southern West Bank.

Multiple incidents of stone and Molotov-throwing affecting Palestinians and Israeli settlers

Eight incidents of settler violence resulting in injuries or damage to property were recorded this week, bringing the cumulative number of such incidents to 225 in 2014. Additionally, there were six incidents resulting in injuries or property damage to settlers.

During the reporting period, three Palestinians were physically assaulted in separate incidents in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city (Hebron), in Mikhmas (Jerusalem) and in West Jerusalem. Since the beginning of 2014, 63 Palestinians were physically assaulted and injured by settlers, compared to 72 in 2013.

Four incidents resulting in damage to property were recorded during the week and involved stoning of Palestinian vehicles in two incidents in Bethlehem and Tulkarem; throwing of Molotov cocktails towards a family park in Dura al Qari’ village (Ramallah) as well as vandalism and spraying ‘revenge’ in different locations in the park; and running over and killing of five sheep while injuring five others, belonging to a Palestinian from the community of Mak-hul (Tubas).

An additional kidnapping attempt of a Palestinian child by Israelis was reported by Palestinians this week in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem, on 20 August, raising the number of such reports in East Jerusalem alone to a minimum of nine since 13 June 2014.

Other incidents not resulting in injuries were reported during the week and involved verbal threats to United Nations employees (Jerusalem), stoning of vehicles (Jericho) and leveling of private Palestinian-owned land near Kisan (Bethlehem). In one such attack, on 21 August, Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli forces threw sound bombs at a Palestinian house in the H2 area of Hebron’s Old City. On 25 August, a group of settlers accompanied by Israeli forces entered the village of Kifl Haris (Salfit), reportedly to visit a Jewish religious site. Meanwhile, Israeli forces closed the village’s entrances, and prohibited Palestinian movement inthe area. No clashes or damages were reported.

According to Israeli media sources, Palestinian stone throwing at settlers and settler vehicles in three separate incidents accounted for the injury of seven Israelis, including an infant and three children. The infant was injured as a result of stone throwing in the Old City of Jerusalem; the three children were injured as a result of stone throwing towards their vehicle in Wadi Joz (East Jerusalem); and the other three sustained injuries when their vehicle overturned on road 60 near the entrance of Beit Ummar (Hebron), following stone throwing by Palestinians. Additionally, four incidents resulting in property damage were reported, including three involving throwing of Molotov cocktails and, in one incident, opening of fire at the Pisgat Zeev settlement in East Jerusalem from the direction of Shu’fat Refugee Camp (Jerusalem); this was followed with firing of live ammunition by Israeli forces, which injured a 20-year-old Palestinian.

11 homes demolished in Area C, displacing 54 Palestinians

During the week, a total of 11 residential structures and one animal shelter were demolished by the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus and Tubas governorates, all on 20 August. In total, 54 people, including 33 children, were displaced, including four families for the second time in one year and including four refugee families. All the structures were located in Area C and demolished due to lack of building permits bringing the total number of structures demolished in Area C in 2014 to 345, compared to 350 in the equivalent period of 2013.

Three of the demolished homes were 100-year-old historical structures built in Aqraba village (Nablus). The houses were rehabilitated by the village council in order to house 17 Palestinians, including 12 children, who are now displaced. According to the village council, no demolition orders or prior notice were issued. The rest of the targeted structures were located in two Bedouin communities: East Tayba (Ramallah), Baqa’a (Jerusalem) as well as the village of Al Aqaba (Tubas). Two families in the latter community, which is located in a “firing zone”, were displaced for the second time in two months.

Also in Area C and on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued building permits, Israeli authorities delivered at least two demolition orders and five stop-work orders for a total of seven structures, in the governorates of Tubas, Ramallah and Jerusalem, affecting a total of 22 family members including 11 children.

Over 60 per cent of the West Bank is classified as Area C where Israel retains extensive control, including over planning and zoning. Seventy per cent (70%) of Area C is included within the boundaries of the regional councils of Israeli settlements (as distinct from Israel’s designated municipal boundaries) and is off-limits for Palestinian use and development. Palestinian construction in another 29% of Area C is heavily restricted, and only approximately 1% of Area C has been planned for Palestinian development.

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