|One Palestinian killed and over 200 injured in clashes
Widespread clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians across the West Bank have resulted in the death of one and the injury of 209 Palestinians, including 21 children. The vast majority of injuries were caused by live ammunition (56) and rubbercoated metal bullets (119). Tear gas inhalation (26) and physical assault (7) injuries accounted for the remainder.
Most of the clashes during the week took place in the context of demonstrations protesting the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip launched on 7 July. Heightened tension and clashes across the West Bank have been ongoing since 13 June, almost without interruption, resulting in the killing of seven Palestinians, including one child, and the injury of 1,000 others by Israeli forces. Initially, the clashes took place in the context of the massive search and arrest operations that followed the abduction and killing of three Israeli youths and boys in the southern West Bank, and subsequently in protest of the abduction and killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy from East Jerusalem, on 2 July.
This week, on 14 July, Israeli forces shot with live ammunition and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian man near the entrance of As Samu’ town (Hebron governorate). While Palestinian youth have been throwing stones at Israeli-plated vehicles in this area during the day of the incident, according to Palestinian sources, no stone-throwing was ongoing at the time of the shooting. This brings the total number of Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2014 to 20, compared to nine and three in the equivalent period of 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Ninety per cent of this week’s injuries (209) occurred during clashes in the Hebron governorate, including in the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron city (H2), in Al ‘Arrub and Al Fawwar refugee camps, and in the villages of Dura, Bani Nai’m, Yatta, Beit Ummar, Khursa, and Halhul. Other clashes resulting in injuries occurred also at key checkpoints: Qalandiya, which controls Palestinian access to East Jerusalem through the Barrier, ‘Atara, on the main route between Ramallah and the northern West Bank, and Jaljuliya in Qalqiliya, which controls access to a Barrier enclave and to Israel.
Additionally, Israeli forces injured five Palestinians with live ammunition during the weekly demonstration against access restrictions in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). The last time Israeli forces use live ammunition against demonstrators in the area was in May 2014.
Also this week, on 13 July, 15 Palestinian worshippers were injured in the Al Aqsa mosque compound during clashes with Israeli forces, while protesting the entry of Israeli religious groups to the compound.
During the week, Israeli forces carried out a total of 109 search-and-arrest operations across the West Bank, some of which triggered clashes and resulted in 15 injuries: in Al Janiya (Ramallah), Jaba’ (Jenin), and ‘Ein al Ma’ refugee camp (Nablus).
Settler-related incidents: three Palestinians and three Israelis injured
This week recorded a total of eight settler-related incidents affecting Palestinians, which led to the injury of three Palestinians, including a child, and damage to some cars and a house. The number of incidents remains around the weekly average of incidents documented since the beginning of the year. In the same period, Palestinians injured 3
In one incident on 8 July, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and injured a Palestinian man at the entrance of Beit Iba village (Nablus) while he was en route to work. According to Palestinian sources, the attack was part of a failed attempt to kidnap him. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian-plated vehicles driving on West Bank roads in the Ramallah and Salfit governorates and East Jerusalem, damaging three cars, and threw Molotov cocktails at a house in the Old City of Jerusalem, causing damage to the house.
An Israeli settler was injured after being stoned by Palestinians while driving in the Hebron governorate, and two other Israelis were physically assaulted and injured by Palestinians in the Old City of East Jerusalem.
Access and movement on the second Friday of Ramadan
The number of Muslim worshippers who could gain access to Al Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers so far since the beginning of the month of Ramadan was significantly lower this year than compared to last year. According to estimates obtained from the Israeli authorities, over 9,990 crossed the checkpoints leading to East Jerusalem on the second Friday of Ramadan (11 July), as opposed to approximately 137,550 who crossed on the same occasion last year.
Only Palestinian men over 50 and women over 40, who hold West Bank IDs, were allowed to enter Jerusalem without permits through four checkpoints (Qalandiya, Gilo, Shu’fat and Zeytoun). In 2013, men above 40, women and girls of all ages, and boys below 12 were allowed access without permits. Also, as was the case last week, Palestinians under 50 who managed to cross the checkpoints with work or commercial permits, were denied access to the Old City of Jerusalem and turned back at one of the flying checkpoints deployed around the Old City. As a result, thousands prayed in the streets surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City. In addition to the tighter access restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities, the increasing tension recorded since mid June may have also contributed to the decline
First self-demolition in East Jerusalem during Ramadan
This week, two Palestinian families self-demolished their residential extension and parking space for lack of an Israeli-issued building permit to avoid the demolition of the whole building in Sur Bahir neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Twenty persons including seven children were affected. This is the fifth demolition incident taking place in the West Bank, and the first incident in East Jerusalem, since the start of the month of Ramadan. In previous years demolitions were suspended or declined significantly during this month.