|Increase in Israeli settler attacks
A total of 18 attacks perpetrated by settlers against Palestinians were documented during the two week reporting period, up from a weekly average of five attacks since the beginning of the year. These incidents led to the injury of eight Palestinians and damage to hundreds of olive trees and saplings, among others. Two other incidents perpetrated by Palestinians resulted in the injury of five settlers and other Israelis.
Most injuries during this period occurred as a result of stone-throwing. On 18 April, five Palestinians, including a one-year-old child and an elderly woman, were injured when settlers threw stones at Palestinian-plated vehicles travellingnear ‘Imanuel settlement in the Salfit governorate. In two additional incidents on 16 and 20 April, settlers stoned Palestinian cars in the Bethlehem governorate and in East Jerusalem, damaging five vehicles. Two similar incidents perpetrated by Palestinians targeted Israeli vehicles driving near Tuqu’ village (Bethlehem) and in the French Hill settlement (East Jerusalem), injuring five Israelis.
Three other Palestinians were physically assaulted and injured by settlers, including an eight-year-old schoolgirl while on her way back from school in At Tuwani village in Hebron; and two men near Za’tara junction in Salfit and in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron City (H2). In another incident on 22 April, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces, which arrived to Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village (Nablus) after settlers attempted to enter the village. During the incident, Israeli forces handcuffed and physically assaulted a 17-year-old Palestinian, injuring him.
Palestinian reports indicated that settlers damaged at least 340 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings in five locations during the period. The largest incident affected 220 olive trees, which were discovered damaged in Huwwara village (Nablus), while most of the remaining trees were damaged in Ras Karkar in Ramallah (80 olive trees) and in Qarawat Bani Hasan in Salfit (around 30 trees).
Palestinian Bedouin families at imminent risk of forcible transfer; issuance of eviction and demolition orders continue
On 28 April, the Israeli authorities handed over eviction orders to three Palestinian families, comprising 29 people, including 18 children, in the Sateh al Bahr Bedouin community (Jericho). Additional families in the same community might be at similar risk, since a fourth eviction order, which contains no names, was also delivered to the community. The orders were issued on grounds that the community reportedly exists in an area designated as a "closed military zone". According to residents, Sateh al Bahr community has existed in its current location since the early 1970s. It includes 12 households, comprising 68 people, of whom 39 are children. The recent developments take place in the context of an Israeli plan to "relocate" most Bedouin communities across Area C of the West Bank to a limited number of sites. This plan will apply to the affected community, along with 18 communities (2,800 people) located in the eastern Jerusalem Governorate, in an area allocated for the expansion of Israeli settlements, including the El plan, as well as planned to be surrounded by the Barrier around Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
During the two-week reporting period, four Palestinian-owned structures were demolished on 28 April, a significant reduction compared to the weekly average of demolitions recorded since the beginning of 2014. None of these demolitions led to displacement compared to a weekly average of 28 people displaced since the beginning of 2014. The structures included an agricultural room and a fence, built on Palestinian land in Area C of Rafat village (Jerusalem), demolished by the ICA; and a house extension of two balconies, self-demolished by a family in Jabal al Mukabbir (East Jerusalem). Overall, 17 people, including six children, were affected.
On 23 April, the Israeli authorities verbally informed three households to demolish their own structures in Humsa al Buqai’a community (Jordan Valley); and photographed tents in Jabal al Baba community (Jerusalem); no demolition took place by the end of the reporting period in either place. In addition, stop-work orders were delivered to one residence and one animal shelter in Khirbet al Fakheit community in south Hebron, in a closed military area for military training (Firing Zone 918).