Protection of Civilians Weekly Report
7 – 13 May 2008
· The IDF killed eleven Palestinians (including a woman and two children) and injured 39 others (including 14 unarmed civilians).
· Six Palestinians were physically assaulted by the police when Fatah members and other PLO factions organised a rally in Jabaliya Camp to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Al Nakba. The police said that the rally was organised without prior permission.
· Rafah crossing was opened between 10 and 12 May. On those three days, 140 patients and 750 Palestinians holding residency permits in Arab countries and students crossed to Egypt while 550 Palestinians stranded in Egypt returned to Gaza. According to police officers at Rafah crossing, about five to seven thousand persons (including 1,700 patients) were waiting at the crossing during the week.
· On four occasions, Israeli patrol boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats at sea. These attacks come during the peak of the sardine fishing season, which will last until mid-June.
· Seven Israeli air strikes took place this week, compared to four last week.
· A total of 42 rockets and 31 mortars were fired by Palestinian militants at Israel, resulting in the death of two Israelis, a man and a woman, and the injury of three IDF soldiers. This is about the same number of rockets and mortars fired per week over the previous two weeks. Nine mortars were also fired at IDF soldiers conducting ground operations in Gaza, which is the lowest number of mortars fired at the IDF inside Gaza since late March.
· Israeli settlers killed a 19-year-old Palestinian man with live ammunition in ‘Ein Yabrub (Ramallah). The IDF injured 19 Palestinians (including five children), four Israelis and three foreigners in five different governorates of the West Bank.
· The closure imposed on the West Bank since 6 May continued through the entire reporting period during Israeli Remembrance and Independence Days. All West Bank Palestinians holding valid permits were denied access to East Jerusalem and Israel, with the exception of emergency medical cases and employees at international organisations.
· On 8 May, Israeli settlers entered the evacuated settlements of Khomesh and Sanur. To facilitate their movement, the IDF closed Enav and Beit Iba checkpoints for 12 hours and erected flying checkpoints on roads 60 and 57, forcing tens of thousands of Palestinians to take long detour routes to reach their homes and work places.
· A total of 80 flying checkpoints were reported, a 29% increase compared to last week.
· A total of 86 IDF search operations and 55 arrests/detentions of Palestinians were reported, a decrease of 30% and 55%, respectively, compared to last week.