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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
5 December 2014

Key issues

68 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces, the majority in east Jerusalem.
Two Palestinians injured in the access Restricted area in Gaza.
Rafah Crossing partially reopened allowing some 3,000 to return.
UNRWA declares emergency in Gaza City following floods caused by rain fall.

Decline in Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces

During the week, Israeli forces injured 68 Palestinians, including nine children, in various incidents and clashes across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The number of Palestinian injuries has declined compared to the previous reporting period (297 injuries), and has fallen below the weekly average since the beginning of 2014 (114), for the first time in the past four weeks.

As has been the case in recent weeks, the majority of Palestinian injuries (36) were recorded in the Jerusalem governorate during multiple protests. One of the largest occurred on 28 November in Al ‘Eizariya town, just outside East Jerusalem, resulting in the injury of 25 Palestinians, including 12 by rubber bullets, and the rest due to severe tear gas inhalation.

The majority of these clashes took place in the context of concerns over potential changes in the access arrangements to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, and Israeli measures enforced in East Jerusalem, including increased entry of settlers and other sraeli groups. Following a trilateral meeting of the Unites States, Israel and Jordan during which they announced a plan to “restore calm” in Jerusalem, Israeli authorities have eased the restrictions on Palestinian access to Al Aqsa Mosque Compound and Israeli politicians have refrained from entering and touring the compound. In the same period, since mid-November, the number of injuries in this context has declined each week.

Additional injuries were recorded during the regular weekly protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in (Ramallah) against the Barrier, in An Nabi Saleh against settlement expansion, and in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) protesting the longstanding closure of one of the main access roads to the village, which passes through the nearby settlement. Clashes during the latter protest, on 28 November, resulted in the injury of 11 people, including three children, one of them a nine-year-old boy injured by a rubber bullet, and an international activist shot and injured with live ammunition. Another seven Palestinians were injured during clashes protesting the closure of the entrance to Ash Shuhada Street in the H2 area of Hebron city.

On 25 November, Israeli forces shot and seriously injured a Palestinian woman near the Gush Etzion junction in Bethlehem governorate. According to Israeli media reports, the incident occurred after the woman stabbed and lightly injured an Israeli settler. The Palestinian District Coordination Office stated they have grounds for refuting this claim, and have requested from the Israeli authorities video footage of the incident.

Israel settlers raid two Palestinian villages

Three incidents of Israeli attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, resulting in Palestinian injuries or damage to their property were recorded this week, bringing the total number of such incidents in 2014 to 307, compared to 392 in the equivalent period of 2013.

The single incident resulting in an injury took place on 29 November, when, according to Palestinian residents of the area, a group of Israelis physically assaulted a young Palestinian man at the light rail station near the Old City in East Jerusalem.

In two separate incidents on 28 and 29 November, groups of Israeli settlers raided Burin village (Nablus) and Al Bireh town (Ramallah), and threw stones at Palestinian houses and public property, damaging two houses and some street lights. Both incidents ended without casualties reported. In Al Bireh, Israeli forces intervened by firing rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and sound grenades in the direction of Palestinians who clashed with settlers. According to the village council in Burin, the incident took place in the presence of Israeli forces that did not intervene to stop the assailants. The pattern of setter violence experienced by residents of Burin was highlighted in the Report of the Secretary-General to the Human Rights Council of 12 February 20141, and raised concerns about the effectiveness of action by the Israeli authorities to prevent such violence in areas where attacks have occurred repeatedly and often at the same times of the year.

Also this week, on 29 November, (not included in the count) the Bilingual Arab-Jewish School in West Jerusalem was set on fire and one classroom entirely burned. Anti-Palestinian and anti-coexistence graffiti was painted on the walls. According to the Israeli media, the Police suspect that Israeli right wing activists are responsible.

In addition to the alleged stabbing in Gush Etzion (see above), according to Israeli media sources, there were six Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the Jerusalem and Ramallah governorates. All incidents involved stone throwing, and in one case hurling of a Molotov cocktail, at passing vehicles, resulting in damage to vehicles and in one incident, injury to one driver on 30 November in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.

A house in East Jerusalem demolished; confiscation of materials impedes winterization of a Bedouin community in Area C This week, Israeli authorities demolished one Palestinian home, and delivered stop work orders against four houses and structures, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

On 1 December Israeli authorities demolished a residential structure in the ‘Isawiya area of East Jerusalem, for lack of Israeli-issued building permits, affecting a family of six, including a child. According to the family, the house is built on privately-owned land. This brings to 79 the number of structures demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year for lack of Israel-iissued building permits, in addition to one house demolished as a punitive measure.

Additionally, during the week, the Israeli authorities delivered at least four stop-work orders for lack of Israeli-issued building permits in Area C, against a residential house under construction as well as an animal shelter in Safa village (Hebron), and against a residential structure and commercial structure in the Arab ar Ramadin community (Qalqiliya), affecting a total of 23 Palestinians.

On 27 November, the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) confiscated eight wet-weather tarpaulin sheets provided to the Khan al Ahmar Makab as Samen Bedouin community (Jerusalem), to the east of Jerusalem, on grounds that they were going to be used for building, illegally, in Area C. The materials were provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture as part of an ongoing winterization project. Eight registered refugee families, comprising 59 people, including 34 children, were affected. This is one of 46 Bedouin communities (approximately 7,000 people) in the central West Bank at risk of forcible transfer in the context of an Israeli “relocation” plan.

1A/HRC/25/38, paras. 42-47


Two Palestinians injured in the access restricted areas (ara)

Incidents involving Israeli forces opening fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea have continued on a daily basis, with 14 such incidents reported during the week, including two resulting in injuries. On 28 November, Israeli forces shot and injured a 20-year-old Palestinian present at approximately 100 meters from the fence, east of Jabalia and on 29 November, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, at a similar distance from the fence, west of Beit Lahia.

Also in the ARA, Israeli forces arrested four Palestinian civilians, reportedly during attempts to infiltrate Israel in search of jobs.

Palestinian access to areas in the vicinity of the fence has increased since the ceasefire of 26 August 2014. However, the Israeli authorities have so far not officially announced the boundaries of what they consider a restricted area, thus generating uncertainty and increasing the risks to the civilian population. Field observations suggest that areas within 100 meters from the fence are largely inaccessible, while access to areas several hundred meters beyond this distance is risky. Access to fishing areas in the sea is restricted to 6 nautical miles from the coast. These access restrictions, imposed by the Israeli military citing security concerns, continue to undermine the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and fishermen and their families.

Tens of families displaced due to heavy rains; protests against delays in reconstruction

Heavy rains and severe flooding, exacerbated the already poor humanitarian situation following the July-August hostilities, over seven years of intensified blockade, and an ongoing acute fuel and energy crisis. Rain-water accumulated in several locations, blocking at least seven connecting roads, flooded several houses, and forcing around 50 families living in low areas in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City to evacuate their homes.

During the week, hundreds of families whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the July-August hostilities demonstrated in front of UNRWA headquarters to protest against the delayed reconstruction of their homes. Entry of basic construction materials, which are considered by Israel ‘dual use items’, remains severely restricted with only limited amounts entering under the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism agreed between the Palestinian and Israeli governments, including 1,640 tons of cement admitted into Gaza during the month of November. The Gaza Housing Minister estimates that Gaza needs up to 8,000 tons of cement per day to meet the current construction needs.

Rafah crossing opened for travel into 48 truckloads of goods allowed to exit to the West bank during November

A total of 16 truckloads of goods, mostly agricultural produce, exited Gaza to West Bank markets, bringing to 48 the number of truckloads permitted entry into the West Bank in November 2014, in the context of relaxation measures implemented by the Israeli authorities following the ceasefire. Exit of goods to Israeli markets remains barred.

Since the imposition of the blockade in June 2007, Israel has banned almost completely the exit of goods from Gaza to the West Bank and Israel, which are the main markets for Gazan products. So far in 2014, only 142 truckloads of select goods were allowed to exit Gaza, including 94 truckloads permitted export to international markets, compared to over 5,000 truckloads of a wider range of goods delivered to the West Bank, Israel and international markets, in the first half of 2007.

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