Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 6-9 September 2016
● On 20 September, Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy at the entrance of Bani Na’im village (Hebron), allegedly after he attempted to stab a soldier; no Israeli injuries were reported.
● Seven Palestinian attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis were recorded over a four-day period (16-19 September), the largest such figure since the previous escalation in violence in the last quarter of 2015. Six of the suspected perpetrators, including a 17-year-old boy and a Jordanian national, were shot and killed at the scene, and another three were injured and arrested. Five soldiers and police officers and three Israeli settlers were injured. One of the incidents was a suspected ramming attack at the entrance of Kiryat Arba’ settlement (Hebron), and the other six were stabbings or alleged stabbing attacks, including three in Hebron’s Old City, two in the Old City of Jerusalem, and one at the entrance of Efrata settlement (Bethlehem). All suspected perpetrators were reportedly unaffiliated with any armed group and acting on their own.
● Two Palestinians were shot and killed during clashes with Israeli forces that erupted following a search and arrest operation in Beit Ula village (Hebron), and a stone-throwing incident next to the fence surrounding Gaza. The fatality in the latter incident is a 16-year-old boy hit in the head by a tear gas canister shot by Israeli soldiers, according to investigations carried out by several human rights organizations. This brings the number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli forces during clashes and protests since the beginning of 2016 to 16.
● Overall, during the two-week reporting period, Israeli forces injured 98 Palestinians, including 37 children, in the context of multiple clashes. Over three quarters of these injuries were due to tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment, and most of the rest by either rubber bullets or live ammunition. More than half of the injuries were recorded during clashes that took place in Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya towns in the Jerusalem governorate, following stone throwing by Palestinian youths at Israeli forces, and another five occurred in clashes next to the fence surrounding the Gaza Strip.
● Also in the Gaza Strip, on at least 29 occasions during the two week period, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinians present in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea, forcing them to leave, but resulting in no casualties. On another two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land levelling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence.
● Eight demonstrations, all of which ended without clashes, were held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on hunger strike to protest their administrative detention. The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid called upon Israel to charge or release all administrative detainees without delay. An additional demonstration was held protesting the detention of six Palestinians by Palestinian Security Forces.
● Israeli forces conducted 137 search and arrest operations and arrested 183 Palestinians in the West Bank. The Jerusalem governorate accounted for the highest portion of arrests (56). Another three Palestinians were arrested in the vicinity of three checkpoints, reportedly for carrying knifes.
● The Israeli authorities returned the corpses of two Palestinians suspected of committing attacks against Israelis to their families; one of the bodies had been withheld for more than eight months. At present, the bodies of another ten suspected Palestinian perpetrators are still being withheld by the Israeli authorities, some for up to seven months.
● On 15 September, the Israeli police forcibly evicted a Palestinian family of eight from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem, which they had been renting since the 1930s, and handed it to an Israeli settler organization that reportedly purchased it. This followed protracted legal proceedings in Israeli courts, where the family unsuccessfully challenged its eviction, claiming it was a protected tenant. This home is part of a larger residential complex comprising nine apartments, eight of which were taken over by Israeli settlers in July 2010, causing the displacement of seven Palestinian households of the same extended family.
● The Israeli authorities demolished 15 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem for lack of building permits, displacing 23 people including 12 children, and otherwise affecting over 47. Two of these structures were homes in East Jerusalem demolished by their owners following the receipt of demolition orders, to avoid being charged the cost of the demolition by the Israeli authorities. Another five structures were donor-funded emergency shelters provided in response to previous demolitions in Al Aqaba village, in the northern Jordan Valley. The latter community was also exposed to sustained live fire inside its residential area, due to an Israeli military training exercise carried out on 12 and 13 September in its vicinity, resulting in no casualties.
● Six incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians at Israeli vehicles in various West bank areas resulted in the injury of four Israelis, including two women, and in damage to four vehicles, according to Israeli media reports.
● At least 45 olive trees were set on fire, reportedly by Israeli settlers, in Burin (Nablus) and Jinsafut (Qalqiliya) villages. Also in Burin, Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli forces, bulldozed a plot of uncultivated land belonging to Palestinians.
● The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was exceptionally opened on three days during the reporting period, twice on both directions (6-7 September) and once (18 September) to allow pilgrims to return to Gaza only. A total of 1,175 people exited and 916 entered Gaza. Approximately 27,000 people are registered and waiting to cross, according to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza. Since the beginning of 2016 the crossing partially opened on just 23 days.