At least 370 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in demonstrations commemorating the 64th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the 1948 An Nakba (the catastrophe).
Israeli authorities demolished seven Palestinian-owned livelihood structures due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, affecting over 40 people.
Power cuts throughout the Gaza Strip remain as high as 12 hours per day, disrupting delivery of basic services, daily life in Gaza and the functioning of some industries.
Hundreds of injuries in demonstrations commemorating An Nakba
This week, Palestinians organized demonstrations commemorating the 64th anniversary of the Palestinian An Nakba day on 15 May, which culminated in clashes with Israeli forces, mainly at Qalandiya checkpoint (Jerusalem) and Ofer prison (Ramallah). As a result, around 375 Palestinians were injured, at least 130 of whom were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. Five Israeli soldiers were also injured during these protests.
Earlier this week, demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike also took place, resulting in the injury of 37 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom in front of Ofer prison. On 14 May, over 1,600 prisoners suspended their hunger strike to protest the practice of administrative detention (imprisonment without charges or trial) by the Israeli authorities and certain conditions of detention. The strike ended upon reaching an agreement with the Israeli authorities, that was negotiated through Egyptian mediation.
The remaining injuries (27) were sustained during a weekly demonstration held against restrictions on access to agricultural land in the vicinity of Qedumim settlement (Qalqiliya). Overall in 2012, 85 percent of Palestinian injuries by Israeli military forces have occurred in the context of demonstrations protesting settlement takeover of land and water resources, or access restrictions aimed at protecting settlements or allowing for their expansion.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces:
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 3
Killed in 2011: 11
Injured this week: 441; majority in demonstrations
Injured in 2012: 1,339
2012 weekly average of injured: 69
2011 weekly average of injured: 28
Search-and-arrest operations by Israeli forces this week: 57 9
This week, OCHA recorded eight incidents that led to the injury of two Palestinians and damage to over 430 trees. In two separate incidents in the vicinity of the two Israeli settlements of Karmei Tzur and Yizhar, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and stoned a farmer and a shepherd, injuring them. Also this week, Israeli settlers cut down or uprooted around 430 trees, including over 280 olive trees, belonging to the Palestinian communities of Burin (Nablus), Yasuf (Salfit), Al Khader (Bethlehem) and At Tuwani and Beit Ummar (Hebron). Since the beginning of the year, around 3,070 trees, the majority of which were olive trees, have been vandalized by settlers.
Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 8
2012 weekly average: 6
2011 weekly average: 8
Palestinians injuries by settler violence:
This week: 2
Injured in 2012: 50
2011 weekly average: 4
Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 0
Injured in 2012: 15
Injured in 2011: 37
Demolitions affect livelihoods of over 40 people
This week, Israeli authorities demolished seven Palestinian-owned livelihood structures due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, affecting over 40 people.
In the Palestinian villages of Burqa (Nablus), Al Jamala (Jenin) and Husan (Bethlehem), the Israeli authorities demolished two shacks used for selling furniture and vegetables, two car wash facilities and a mechanic’s workshop. The demolitions affected the livelihoods of 37 people, including nine children. In addition, in the Area C section of Beit Hanina neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished a water cistern and the foundations of a house under construction, affecting a family of seven, including five children. The Israeli authorities also issued seven demolition orders against Palestinian houses in Silwan village of East Jerusalem.
Overall in 2012, there has been a 25 percent increase in the monthly average of structures demolished, compared to the 2011 monthly average. These demolitions come in the context of a planning regime that allocates some 70 percent of Area C to Israeli settlements or military training, while less than one percent has been planned by the Israeli Civil Administration for Palestinian development. In East Jerusalem, only 13 percent have been allocated for Palestinian construction, most of which are already built-up.
Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
Demolished in 2012: 285
People displaced in 2012: 477
2012 vs. 2011 demolitions (weekly av.): 15 vs. 12
2012 vs. 2011 people displaced (weekly av.): 25 vs. 21
At least eight injured near the fence
While the overall situation inside the Gaza Strip remains calm, with no reports of Israeli air strikes for the last three weeks, this week, at least eight Palestinians were injured after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces in the context of restrictions on access near the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli navy also continues restricting access to a distance of up to three nautical miles from the shore. In two incidents, the Israeli navy opened warning fire towards Palestinian fishing boats, detained two fishermen and confiscated their boat. The two fishermen were later released without their boat.
Also this week, Palestinian armed factions fired a number of projectiles towards southern Israel, resulting in no injuries or property damage.
Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
Killed this week: 0
Killed in 2012: 29
Injured this week: 8
Injured in 2012: 155
2012 weekly average of injured: 9
2011 weekly average of injured: 9
Shortages of power and fuel continue to disrupt daily life inside Gaza
Due to the lack of fuel, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) continues producing only 25 megawatts (MW), or around one-third of its capacity (80 MW). Since the beginning of 2012, the Gaza Strip has been experiencing long power cuts, which currently reach up to 12 hours per day on average.
Fuel supplied through the tunnels under the Egypt- Gaza border is estimated this week at less than 15 percent of the amount (800,000 – one million liters of diesel and benzene) that entered regularly each day prior to the onset of fuel crisis in December 2011. Gaza private companies continue to import fuel, including petrol and diesel, from Israel, to compensate for the ongoing fuel shortage, although the price of fuel purchased from Israel is more than double the price of that transferred from Egypt. According to the Gas Stations Owners Association (GSOA), almost all 180 fuel stations throughout the Gaza Strip have remained closed or are only partially open for a few hours due to the lack of fuel, with reports of long queues at the stations.
Sardine season further impacted by fuel shortage
According to the Fishermen Syndicate in Gaza, over the past few months, fishing trips have been significantly reduced to less than four trips per boat a month, down from over 15 monthly trips, as a result of fuel shortages. To cope with the fuel crisis, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in Gaza has put a rationing mechanism in place, allocating around 20 litres of fuel per week for every fishing boat – an amount insufficient even for a one-day trip. Fuel is necessary to run the boats’ generators and refrigerators.
The fishing industry, which is a source of livelihood for over 65,000 people in Gaza, is already suffering from Israeli-imposed restrictions, in place since January 2009, which limit access to only 3 nautical miles from the shore.. According to the MoA, the total fishing catch in April 2012 was 99.6 tonnes, with sardine catch, constituting 5.6 tonnes (or 6 percent) of the total catch, compared to around 290 tonnes, including over 200 tonnes of sardines (or 73 percent), in April 2007, when the limit was 6 nautical miles from the shore.
One truckload of textiles left Gaza for the first time since 2007
This week, for the first time since the imposition of the blockade in 2007, one truckload of 2,040 woolen shirts exited the Gaza Strip for international markets. This brings the total number of truckloads that have left Gaza since the beginning of 2012 to 144, 13 of which were transferred to the West Bank. This figure remains well below the monthly average of 954 truckloads that exited in early 2007.
Movement of goods
(Kerem Shalom Crossing):
Weekly average of truckloads (TL) entered this week: 1,121
For more information, please contact Mai Yassin at firstname.lastname@example.org or +972 (0)2 582 9962.