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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
16 July 2015

Reporting period: 7 -13 July 2015

Please note: There will be no Protection of Civilians report next week due to the upcoming holidays. The next report will cover a two-week period.

Weekly Highlights

Nine Palestinians, including three children, were injured by Israeli forces during various incidents across the West Bank. Five of the Palestinians were physically assaulted by soldiers in separate confrontations, in Hebron city, at an ad-hoc 'flying' checkpoint in East Jerusalem, and during an attempt to cross the Barrier into Israel near Qalqiliya. The other four people were shot in clashes during the weekly demonstration against the longstanding closure of the main entrance to Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and in two search and arrest operations in Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah) and in Shu'fat refugee camp (Jerusalem). A 55-year-old man lost his eye after being shot with a rubber bullet during the Shu'fat refugee camp clash. Overall, Israeli forces conducted 52 Search and Arrest operations and arrested 71 Palestinians in the West Bank.

At least eleven incidents involving the opening of fire by Israeli forces towards Palestinian civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea were recorded in the Gaza Strip, none of which resulted in casualties. Nine Palestinians were arrested in the ARA, including three Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel without permit, and six fishermen sailing near the Israeli-imposed fishing limit; two fishing boats belonging to the fishermen were confiscated.

Two Palestinians, a woman and a man, were killed, and another three people were injured during clashes between two Palestinian families in Belt Jala (Bethlehem), on 13 July; 12 commercial shops, four residential structures and several vehicles were also set on fire during the incident. Palestinian security forces intervened and arrested 50 people involved in the clashes. In another incident, a four-year-old Palestinian girl from Yatta town (Hebron) was accidently shot and killed by her father, while he was cleaning his gun.

On 9 July, an Israeli court lifted a long-standing gag order on the disappearance of two Israeli civilians, revealing that both are believed to be held captive in the Gaza Strip. Both men entered Gaza voluntarily in two separate incidents in September 2014 and April 2015. The Secretary-General of the United Nations called on Palestinians in Gaza to provide information about their possible whereabouts and condition.

The Israeli authorities dismantled and confiscated a tent in the Jabal al Mukabir area of East Jerusalem. The tent was provided as humanitarian assistance to a family displaced last week, following the sealing of its home as a 'punishment' due to a family member involvement in an attack that resulted in Israeli casualties. Another two confiscation incidents were recorded in Area C, in Yassuf (Salfit), targeting two construction vehicles used to open an agricultural road, and in Hammat al Maleh (Tubas), involving a tractor and a water cistern.

Demolitions and stop work orders were issued against dozens of structure in the Bedouin community of Abu Nwar (Jerusalem). This is one of 46 communities in Area C of the central West Bank at risk of forcible transfer due to a "relocation" plan advanced by the Israeli authorities. Senior Israeli officers who visited Abu Nwar and Susiya, another community at risk of forcible displacement in Hebron, also informed the residents that they must vacate their homes by the end of the Eid Al Fitr Muslim feast (18-19 July), following which demolitions will start.

This week marks the eleventh anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion, which called on Israel to cease construction of the Barrier 'including in and around East Jerusalem'; dismantle the sections already completed; and 'repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto'. On 7 July, the Israeli High Court issued a decision allowing resumption of the construction of a section of the barrier in Wadi Kremisan area in Belt Jala town (Bethlehem). The court abated a previous court decision issued in April 2015 ordering changes to the route of the barrier.

Around 56,000 Palestinians entered East Jerusalem on the fourth Friday of Ramadan, and around 63,000 for the Laylat al Qadr (Night of Destiny) celebration on 13 July, through the four designated checkpoints along the Barrier. Overcrowding and frequent altercations were recorded at two of the checkpoints controlling access from the northern and southern West Bank. The criteria for access without permit remained the same as in the previous week. Israeli authorities issued this week 800 permits allowing Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to access East Jerusalem for the Laylat al Qadr; earlier this month all permits for residents of Gaza were revoked following the launching of a rocket from Gaza.

The Rafah crossing was closed entirely in both directions by the Egyptian authorities during the week. So far in 2015, 7,504 Palestinians have exited Gaza via Rafah compared with 19,806 Palestinians in the equivalent period in 2014. This measure directly affects at least 12,000 people registered to cross in both sides.

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