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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
11 February 2013

Key issues

Protests in solidarity with prisoners in Israeli jails on hunger strike evolve into clashes with Israeli forces, resulting in injury to 20 Palestinians.

Positively, for the first time since the entry into force of the ceasefire agreement on 21 November 2012, no death or injuries were recorded during the week in the Access Restricted Areas along Gaza’s perimeter fence and coastline.


    Clashes during demonstrations result in dozens of injuries

    Eighteen Palestinians were injured this week in clashes with Israeli police forces that erupted during a demonstration held in Al Isawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. One of the prisoners, Samer el ‘Issawi, from Al ‘Isawiya, has been on hunger strike for over 200 days. A similar incident occurred in front of the Ofer Prison in south of Ramallah City, resulting in the injury of two 17 year-old youths.

    Another man was physically assaulted and injured during a demonstration next to the main southern entrance to Hebron City, which has been closed for several years, on the grounds of the need to protect the residents of the nearby Israeli settlement of Haggay. Another protest in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya), which is held on a weekly basis to protest the permanent closure of the village’s entrance, resulted in the injury of seven Palestinians. In 2012, 893 Palestinians (or 29 per cent of 2012 total injuries) were injured in the Kafr Qaddum demonstrations, primarily due to tear gas inhalation. In addition, two Palestinians were injured in clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces near a section of the Barrier in Budrus village (Ramallah).

    Also this week, five Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in clashes during the forcible evacuation of a tent compound erected in At Tuwani village, protesting settlement expansion in the Hebron governorate. Eight Palestinian and international activists were also arrested during the clash, of whom two (internationals) were deported. This is the fourth such incident since the beginning of 2013, where Palestinians have erected tent compounds, and they were immediately evacuated by Israeli forces.

    Settler violence: six Palestinians injured and 80 plants vandalized

    This week, six Palestinians were injured in settler-related incidents. On 9 February, three Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces in ‘Azzun village (Qalqiliya) when the latter intervened in confrontations between the villagers and Israeli settlers. In the same incident, settlers stoned Palestinian houses in the village, damaging one. On 6 February, a group of settlers from Gilad Farm settlement outpost (Qalqiliya) injured a Palestinian herder from Immatin with a rock,and attempted to steal his cattle. On 9 February, settlers from Qarnei Shomron (Qalqiliya) stoned Palestinians driving near the settlement, injuring a woman and damaging one vehicle. The previous day in Hebron, Israeli settlers stoned and injured a Palestinian man, during an attempt to forcibly enter the office of the Youths against the Settlements organization in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron City (H2). In another incident in the H2 area, Israeli settlers broke a window and forcibly entered an empty Palestinian house, but were evicted shortly after by Israeli forces.

    Three other incidents reported during the week resulted in damage to Palestinian property. In two incidents on 5 and 9 February, Israeli settlers, reportedly from Bracha , cut down around 60 olive and almond trees belonging to the nearby Burin village in Nablus; other settlers from Haggay uprooted 20 olive saplings belonging to Ar Rihiya in Hebron. Finally, in the Nablus area, settlers from Itamar damaged a truck and intimidated two Palestinians workers, who were rehabilitating the road connecting ‘Awarta and ‘Aqraba on 5 February. There were no incidents affecting settlers by Palestinians reported this week.

    Five displaced and 37 others affected by demolitions in Southern West Bank

    This week, the Israeli authorities demolished nine Palestinian-owned structures in Area C in the Hebron governorate on the grounds that they were constructed without Israeli-issued building permits.

    On 11 February, a residential caravan was demolished in Idhna village in southwest Hebron, displacing five Palestinians, including a child. Between 6 and 11 February, three additional residential structures under construction, two water cisterns for agricultural purposes, two agricultural rooms and an animal shelter were demolished in Al Khas in Bethlehem and Al Fawwar refugee camp, and the villages of Beit ‘Awwa and Abu Al ‘Asja in Hebron. The demolitions in Beit ‘Awwa triggered clashes between the residents and Israeli forces, leading to injury to five Palestinians. Overall, the demolitions affected 37 people, including 23 children.

    Also this week, the Israeli authorities delivered stop work and demolition orders against 14 houses located in the Area C parts of Al Fawwar refugee camp, Beit ‘Awwa (Hebron) and Deir Ballut (Salfit), and a water network supplying around 60 households in Qusra village (Nablus). In addition, Israeli forces issued an evacuation order against five dunums of land belonging to Al Khader village (Bethlehem) on the grounds that the land is ‘state land.’ Residents of the community claim ownership over the land.


    Decline in incidents along the fence and coastline

    For the first time since the entry into force of the ceasefire agreement on 21 November 2012, no deaths or injuries were recorded during the week in the Access Restricted Areas along Gaza’s perimeter fence and coastline.

    However, on at least four occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinians farmers, workers collecting scrap metal and wood, and bird hunters present in areas located beyond 200 meters from the fence. In two incidents on 6 and 8 February, Israeli forces detained five Palestinian civilians, including two youths, while they were reportedly attempting to cross into Israel illegally.

    Also this week, on 10 February, Israeli naval forces detained four fishermen, including two minors; Palestinian sources indicate that the boat was sailing at around five nautical miles (NM) from the shore. The fishermen were released on the same day, but the boat was confiscated. The fishermen were taken for questioning inside Israel.

    In the context of the ceasefire agreement and subsequent understandings between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli authorities have extended the permissible fishing area from three to six NM from the Gaza Strip coastline, and allowed civilian access on foot to areas up to 100 meters from the perimeter fence, for agricultural purposes only, and vehicular access to a distance of 300 meters.

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