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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
6 May 2016

Reporting period: 26 April - 2 May 2016

Weekly Highlights

Latest Developments (outside of the reporting period):

Tensions along the Gaza-Israel border have been on the rise since 4 May, involving a series of attacks by Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli army; a Palestinian woman was killed and four other Palestinian civilians, including three children, and an Israeli soldier, were injured, according to initial media reports.

On 27 April, a pregnant, 23-year-old Palestinian mother and her 16-year-old brother were shot dead next to Qalandiya checkpoint (Jerusalem), reportedly by Israeli private security personnel staffing the checkpoint. The circumstances are disputed: according to Israeli sources, the two carried knives and did not abide by the Israeli forces' orders to stop; Palestinian eyewitnesses indicated that security personnel opened-fire on the woman after she mistakenly entered the vehicular lane of the checkpoint, and, subsequently, shot her brother, who rushed to assist her. The Israeli authorities are still holding the bodies, along with those of 16 Palestinians suspected of perpetrating attacks over the past six months.

In Belt Ur al Foqa village (Ramallah), a 16-year-old Palestinian girl was shot and injured during an alleged attempt to stab Israeli soldiers. Israeli media reports indicated that she and her friend carried a knife, a syringe and a suicide note. Both girls were arrested, and no injuries to Israeli soldiers were reported. In the Old City of Jerusalem, a 60-year-old Israeli settler was stabbed and injured by a Palestinian man, according to Israeli media; the suspected perpetrator reportedly fled the scene, but was later arrested.

In two separate incidents during the week, an Israeli infant was injured when the car in which he was traveling was stoned, near the settlement of Efrata (Bethlehem); and the light rail train in East Jerusalem sustained damage as a result of stone/bottle-throwing by suspected Palestinians.

85 Palestinians, including 20 children, were injured across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) during clashes with Israeli forces. Most of these clashes erupted during protests, including the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), which alone accounted for 43 injures; protests in Abu Dis (Jerusalem), and Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah) against the recent killing of Palestinians; and demonstrations near the fence separating Gaza and Israel. In one incident, a 10-year-old boy was injured after an Israeli jeep hit him near Al Khader School (Bethlehem).

Several clashes and altercations between Palestinian and Israeli forces were reported following the entry of Israeli settlers and other groups into various sites across the West Bank on the occasion of the Jewish Passover. The affected areas included the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem; Al Karmel village in southern Hebron; Suleiman's Pools near Al Khader village (Bethlehem); Sebastiya village (Nablus); and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus city. In the latter incident, Israeli forces shot and injured a 17-year-old Palestinian boy. In the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, the Israeli Police banned four Palestinians from entering the compound for two weeks, and in one occasion reportedly removed eight Israeli visitors from the compound.

On at least 21 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea in Gaza, and arrested two fishermen after forcing them to strip and swim towards Israeli naval boats, where they were taken into custody. On four occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations.

Israeli forces conducted 45 search and arrest operations and arrested 93 Palestinians in the West Bank, with the Jerusalem governorate accounting for the highest portion of arrests (65, including 10 children), the majority in the Al Aqsa Mosque.

For the first time in seven years, the Israeli authorities began opening a Barrier gate in East Jerusalem (Dahiyat al Barid) for two hours a day, allowing Jerusalem ID holders to use a shorter route to Ramallah and nearby communities. Israeli forces also re-opened the road gate at the eastern entrance of 'Ein Yabrud village (Ramallah), closed since October 2015, allowing vehicular movement from around 11 communities to Road 60. Another road gate leading to Jamma'in village (Nablus) was closed this week, forcing residents to use a long detour.

In an Area C part of Qalqiliya city, the Israeli authorities demolished three livelihood-related structures, and confiscated two water tanks on the grounds that they lacked an Israel-issued permit. As a result, 10 Palestine refugee families, including 32 children, were affected.

No settler attacks resulting in casualties or property damage were recorded this week. However, Israeli settlers prevented Palestinian farmers from accessing their land behind the Barrier, south of Yatta (Hebron).

The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing has remained closed in both directions during the week , bringing the period of uninterrupted closure to 77 days, the longest such period since 2007. Authorities in Gaza indicated that over 30,000 people, including, around 9,500 medical cases, and 2,700 students, are registered and waiting to cross.

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