Two Palestinians killed during
An Israeli raid into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of East Jerusalem, in the early morning of 1 August evolved into clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian stone throwers, resulting in the killing of two Palestinian men (aged 22 and 23) and the injury of another, all with live ammunition. Five Israeli soldiers were also injured by stones. At the time of the raid, residents of the camp were out in the streets at the time of the early morning meal (Suhoor) of the first day of Ramadan. During the week, Israeli forces conducted a total of 84 search and arrest operations in Palestinian localities, slightly below the weekly average since the beginning of the year (over 100).
Of the eight Palestinians killed since the beginning of the year by Israeli forces, three were killed during search-and-arrest operations. Also this week, 36 Palestinian injuries were sustained during weekly demonstrations organized against a number of Israeli measures, including the construction of the Barrier and the continued access restrictions.
Settler attacks on Palestinian
Settler attacks against Palestinian agricultural property continued during the week. In four separate incidents, Israeli settlers reportedly set fire to agricultural land belonging to the villages of Turmus ‘Ayya in the Ramallah governorate and Burin, ‘Awarta and Jalud in the Nablus governorate, damaging around 400 olive and almond trees. In Burin, the Palestinian fire brigade was attacked by settlers while it was attempting to extinguish the fire. Some 4,000 trees belonging to Palestinians have been uprooted, burned or otherwise vandalized by settlers since the beginning of the year.
Additionally, in two separate incidents in the Hebron governorate, settlers from the settlement outpost of Havat Ma’on attacked and injured five international activists, who were escorting children from Tuwani village to a summer camp in a nearby village, and assisting Palestinian shepherds to access land in the vicinity of Ma’on settlement.
Large settlement outpost to
In the context of a petition filed by the Israeli NGO, Peace Now, in June 2006, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling ordering the Israeli authorities to dismantle the unauthorized settlement outpost of Migron in the Ramallah governorate by March 2012. To date, there are some 50 families living in this outpost, considered to be the largest in the West Bank. The outpost was built on private and registered land belonging to Palestinians from the nearby villages of Deir Dibwan and Burqa.
The Israeli State Attorney informed the Court that it intends to relocate the families living in this outpost to a new “neighborhood” within the nearby settlement of Geva Binyamin.
Calm in Gaza disrupted
The calm witnessed in Gaza during the previous reporting period was disrupted this week by Israeli forces gunfire, air strikes and rocket firing by Palestinian armed factions, which resulted in the injury of a Palestinian farmer inside Gaza and an Israeli woman in southern Israel. Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access up to 1,500 meters from the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip by firing ‘warning’ shots continue, resulting in the injury of a Palestinian farmer while he was working his land a few hundred meters from the fence on 30 July.
Also this week, on 1 August, Israeli media sources reported that an Israeli woman was injured when a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an open area near Ashkelon city in southern Israel. In response, the Israeli Air Force launched air strikes targeting a military training site in Gaza City and a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border, resulting in no injuries.
Restrictions also continue to be enforced also on access to fishing zones beyond three nautical miles from the shore. On 28 July, Israeli navel boats opened fire towards Palestinian fishermen west of Deir Al Balah, forcing them ashore. No injuries or damage were reported.
Movement through Rafah
Crossing remains limited
During the reporting period, a daily average of 700 people left Gaza for Egypt and another 600 entered Gaza per day, with a total of 218 people denied entry to Egypt for unspecified reasons. The majority of those who crossed daily were pilgrims, which interrupted the registration mechanism set by the Border and Crossing authorities in Gaza, prioritizing access to specific categories of people, including patients, students, foreign passport holders and those with visas to other countries. Nearly 30,000 people are so far registered and waiting to travel in the coming months.
The Israeli authorities announced a number of easing measures on the occasion of Ramadan, including allowing textile and furniture exports and expanding the range of agricultural exports to Jordan and increasing the number of merchants approved to enter Israel and the West Bank. A similar announcement regarding exports, released on 8 December 2010, which was re-announced on 4 February 2011, has remained unimplemented.