|Five Israelis killed in an attack by Palestinians in West Jerusalem
On 18 November, two Palestinian men entered a synagogue in West Jerusalem and killed with a gun and a knife, five Israeli men, including a policeman, and injured 12 others, including another policeman. The perpetrators, later identified as cousins who reside in the Jabal Al Mukabbir neighborhood of East Jerusalem, were killed in an exchange of fire at the scene. According to Palestinian media reports, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.
This incident triggered a series of attacks by Israelis against Palestinians in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank (see Settler Violence section), as well as reports about new punitive measures, already implemented or planned, by the Israeli authorities citing security and deterrence needs.
In addition, according to Israeli media sources, there were another five Palestinian attacks against settlers and other Israelis in East Jerusalem during the week. These include the stabbing, and in one case beating with an iron rod, of three Israelis in At Tur area and in the Old City of East Jerusalem, in addition to a settlement guard, who was injured with glass shrapnel that was thrown towards him by Palestinians, also in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Attacks by West Bank Palestinians against Israelis, primarily in East and West Jerusalem, have been on the rise since June 2014. During the nearly six months since June 2014, a total of 13 Israelis, including two members of the security forces, have been killed, and another 108, including 48 members of the security forces, were injured. This compares to a total of four fatalities and 209 injuries in the 17 months between January 2013 and May 2014.
297 Palestinian civilians injured, the majority in East Jerusalem
In addition to the two Palestinians killed in the context of the aforementioned attack, Israeli forces injured 297 Palestinians including 26 children, in various incidents and clashes across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The number of Palestinian injuries increased compared to the previous reporting period (212 injuries), and continues to rise above the weekly average (115) since the beginning of 2014.
As has been the case in recent weeks, the majority of Palestinian casualties (272) were recorded in the Jerusalem governorate during multiple protests most notably in Jabal al Mukabbir (89), Al ‘Ezariya (53), Silwan (29), and Shu’fat Refugee Camp (21). The majority of clashes took place in the context of concerns over potential changes in the access arrangements to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and other Israeli measures enforced in East Jerusalem.
One of the largest clashes in this context, occurred on 20 November in Al ‘Eizariya town, just outside East Jerusalem, resulting in the injury of 53 Palestinians, including three by live ammunition, and the rest due to severe tear gas inhalation and rubber bullets.
Also the vast majority of Palestinian arrests, 86 out of a total of 100, were recorded in the Jerusalem governorate. Thirty percent of Palestinians arrests in the West Bank since the beginning of the year were in the Jerusalem governorate.
Also this week, on 23 November, a 43-year-old Palestinian shepherd died of injuries sustained earlier on the same day, when an unexploded ordnance (UXO) exploded while he was grazing his sheep in an Israeli declared “firing zone” west of Bardala village (Tubas) in the northern Jordan Valley. The man was transported by Israeli forces to an Israeli hospital by helicopter.
Israeli Border policeman indicted for killing a child on May 2014
This week, according to Israeli media reports, the Israeli authorities indicted an Israeli border policeman for shooting with live ammunition and killing a 17–year-old Palestinian on 15 May 2014, during a protest.
This is the second case of an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian by Israeli forces that leads to a prosecution, since Israel began implementing a new investigation policy in April 2011. According to this policy, every case in which an ‘uninvolved’ Palestinian civilian is killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, a criminal investigation will be opened, unless the incident ‘occurred during an activity with clear elements of combat’. The vast majority of such investigations, however, was closed without indictment, or remains open.