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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
14 January 2016

Reporting period: 29 December 2015 - 11 January 2016 (Two-week period)

Weekly Highlights

Latest Developments (outside of the reporting period):

Three Palestinians, including a 17-year-old boy, were shot and killed by Israeli forces in two separate incidents on 12 January: an alleged stabbing attempt at the Belt `Einun junction (Hebron) and clashes in the course of a search and arrest operation in Beit Jala (Bethlehem).

● On 13 January, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man and injured another three near Gaza's perimeter fence next to Beit Lahia; the circumstances remain unclear.

The two-week reporting period recorded twelve Palestinian attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis, which resulted in the killing of nine Palestinian perpetrators and alleged perpetrators by Israeli forces, and the injury of three Israelis, including two soldiers. Two of the Palestinian fatalities were children (16 and 17-years-old). The attacks and alleged attacks included eight stabbings and attempted stabbings, one ramming, and two shooting incidents carried out by suspected Palestinians who fled the scene. All of these incidents were reported in the West Bank, including two in East Jerusalem. The circumstances of several incidents remain disputed. None of the perpetrators and alleged perpetrators reportedly belonged to any faction or armed group. Since 1 October until the end of this reporting period, 97 Palestinians, including 21 children, and 23 Israelis were killed in attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis in the oPt and Israel.[1]

There has been a sharp decline in the frequency and intensity of protests and clashes during the two-week period, with a total of 203 Palestinian injuries recorded across the oPt, compared to a weekly average of over 1,000 in the last quarter of 2015. The injuries included 41 child and three women. Twelve of the injuries occurred during clashes next to the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip, near Erez crossing and east of Al Bureij Refugee Camp. The rest of the injuries (191) were recorded in the West Bank, with the highest number recorded in the Jerusalem Governorate (85), followed by Qalqiliya (27), Hebron (24), Bethlehem (25) and Ramallah (20) governorates. At least 25 of the injuries in the West Bank and eight in the Gaza Strip were by live ammunition, while most of the remainder were by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation (only people receiving medical assistance are counted as injured).

A Palestinian man (40-years-old) died of injuries sustained on 31 December after being shot with live ammunition during clashes in Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah). This brings the number of Palestinians killed during protests and clashes with Israeli forces since 1 October to 51, including 28 in the West Bank and 23 in the Gaza Strip.

On 6 January, citing lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities destroyed eleven structures in the Area C Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar, to the east of Jerusalem, including five homes, five donor-funded latrines and an animal shelter; five families, all refugees, consisting of 26 persons , including 18 children, were displaced. Four days later, the Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated five residential tents provided by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in response to the demolitions. Abu Nuwar is one of the 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank at-risk of forcible transfer as a result of a "relocation" plan advanced by the Israeli authorities. It is located within an area known as El, which has been allocated for the expansion of the Ma'ale Adummim settlement westwards, creating a continuous built-up area between this settlement and East Jerusalem.

v Two humanitarian projects in another two herding communities in Area C were served with stop-work orders, also due to lack of building permits: a road under rehabilitation in Khirbet ar Rahwa (Hebron) and a water cistern in Kardala (Tubas). In the former case, the Israeli authorities also confiscated some related building materials.

v The Israeli authorities punitively demolished two homes and sealed another one in East Jerusalem and in Surda village (Ramallah), displacing 19 people, including seven children. The homes belonged to the families of three Palestinians accused of attacks that occurred in October 2015, in which six Israelis were killed, along with the accused perpetrators, and nine Israelis were injured. On 16 November, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt called for a halt to punitive demolitions, which contravene international law.

In East Jerusalem, the Municipality demolished three Palestinian-owned houses that were under-construction, as well as one commercial structure, in the neighbourhoods of Silwan, Sur Bahir and Belt Safafa, also citing lack of building permits. A total of 28 people, half of them children, have been affected.

On 30 December, the Israeli authorities issued an expropriation order affecting over 100 dunums of Palestinian-owned land east of Qalqiliya city, for the paving of a bypass road. According to an Israeli media report, this measure is in response to demands by Israeli settlers to address the security risks they face when travelling on the current route which passes through An Nabi Elyas village. The works will require the uprooting of hundreds of olive trees belonging to several farmers from Azzun village.

In the Hebron governorate, the reporting period witnessed an easing of some of the movement restrictions that have been imposed by the Israeli authorities since October 2015, slightly improving people's access to services and livelihoods. This entailed, primarily, the removal of the permanent checkpoints deployed at the main entrances of main localities, including Hebron city, Halhul, Sall-, As Samu', Yatta, Beit Ummar, Tarqumiya, and Al Arrub refugee camp, significantly reducing delays. Ad-hoc (flying) checkpoints have been intermittently deployed during the reporting period at these locations for short periods of time. Most of the new obstacles erected since October blocking secondary access routes, which have funnelled traffic onto the abovementioned main routes, have remained in place.

Access to and within the Israeli controlled area of Hebron city (H2) has remained severely constrained. One of the main checkpoints controlling entry to this area (Checkpoint 56) was reopened following fortification works. Due to stricter checking procedures, average crossing time for registered residents has increased from 10 to 40 minutes. Additionally, the closure order to the Tel Rumeida area of H2, which allows entry only for registered residents, was renewed until 31 January and the area affected was expanded.

Two Israeli settler attacks leading to injury or damage to property were recorded during the two-week period in the Nablus governorate: a 24-year-old Palestinian man was physically assaulted and injured near Shave Shamron settlement; and Israeli settlers, reportedly from Itamar settlement, vandalized and damaged a Palestinian house in Beit Furik village. The Israeli authorities issued indictments against two Israeli settlers in relation to the arson attack in Duma village in July 2015, which killed three members of the same family, including an infant, and critically injured another child.

Five incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians against Israeli-plated vehicles were reported by Israeli media, resulting in damage to three private vehicles near Hebron and Bethlehem, as well as to the Jerusalem light rail (twice).

At least ten incidents involving Israeli forces' opening fire at Palestinian civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea in the Gaza Strip were recorded, resulting in no casualties. On at least one occasion, members of an armed group in Gaza reportedly fired a number of rockets towards Israel, two of which landed in an open area in Israel, while the rest fell short in Gaza; no injuries or damage were reported.

Israeli forces conducted 144 search and arrest operations and arrested 252 Palestinians in the West Bank, with the Hebron governorate accounting for the highest number of operations and arrests. Sites raided included the Birzeit University in Ramallah area, where computers and documents were confiscated, and property damage reported; the offices of a human rights organization in Nablus city, which was closed by military order for six months, for alleged incitement against Israelis; and a secondary school in Nablus city, where property damage was also reported.

Electricity supply in the Gaza Strip deteriorated for two days due to damage sustained to two of the three Egyptian feeder lines supplying southern Gaza as well as to one of the Israeli feeder lines supplying Gaza City. Blackouts in the affected areas reached up to 18 hours a day, effecting the delivery of basic services and undermining vulnerable livelihoods and living conditions.

The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the reporting period. The Crossing has been closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 37 days of partial openings. Authorities in Gaza indicated that over 25,000 people with urgent needs, including around 3,500 medical cases, are registered and waiting to cross.

[1] OCHA protection of civilians data includes incidents that occurred outside of the oPt only if they involved residents of the oPt as either victims or perpetrators. Palestinian injuries counted in this report only include people who received medical treatment by paramedic teams on the ground, in local clinics or in hospitals. Figures on Israeli injuries are based on media reports.

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