Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 20 - 26 October 2015 [EN/AR/HE]

Highlights:

Latest Developments (outside of the reporting period):

  • On 27 and 28 October, four Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces in three incidents in the Bethlehem and Hebron governorates in the context of stabbing attacks, according to the Israeli authorities.
  • On 27 October, an Israeli civilian died of wounds he sustained during an attack perpetrated by Palestinians in East Talpiot settlement (East Jerusalem) on 13 October 2015.
  • On 29 October, Israeli forces shot and reportedly severely injured a Palestinian in Hebron city allegedly after he stabbed an Israeli soldier.

The wave of violence across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continued during the reporting period (20-26 October) resulting in 15 Palestinian fatalities, and another 1,261 Palestinian and twenty Israeli injuries. In addition, one Israeli died from injuries sustained on 18 November 2014 during a Palestinian attack. Between 1 and 26 October, 58 Palestinians and seven Israelis were killed, and 6,445 Palestinians and over 80 Israelis were injured.
During the reporting period, ten Palestinians, including three children, were killed in the West Bank and Israel, and four Palestinians as well as 11 Israelis, including seven members of Israeli forces, were injured in the course of 12 stabbing and alleged stabbing attacks, and two ramming attacks by Palestinians, as well as one alleged stabbing attack by an Israeli settler. The circumstances of several incidents are highly disputed. Thirteen of these incidents occurred in the West Bank, including eight in Hebron governorate, two in Salfit governorate, and one in each of the governorates of Jerusalem, Jenin, and Nablus. One incident was reported in the city of Beit Shemesh in Israel.

On 22 October, in connection to the Palestinian attacks and alleged attacks, the UN Deputy Secretary General stated before the Security Council that "a number of incidents, many caught on video and widely disseminated, call into question the degree of response, including the apparent disproportionate use of lethal force as a first resort"

Four Palestinians were killed or died of injuries caused by Israeli forces during protests and clashes in the West Bank and along the perimeter fence around Gaza. In the Hebron governorate, a 17-year-old child was shot with live ammunition and killed at the Beit Einun junction during clashes following the killing of a Palestinian earlier the same day in a stabbing incident, and a 54-year-old man with heart problems died from teargas inhalation fired during clashes in the H2 area of Hebron city. In the Gaza Strip, two Palestinian men died of injuries sustained in the previous two weeks during clashes that erupted in the context of protests. In addition to these fatalities, a Palestinian man was shot dead in Gaza, reportedly while using binoculars to watch the areas near the fence surrounding Gaza and hiding between bushes around 300 metres from the fence.

A total of 1,253 Palestinians, including at least 256 children, were injured in the oPt, the vast majority in protests and confrontations with Israeli forces. Of these, 157 injuries (13 per cent), including nine on-duty Palestinian Red Crescent Society medical staff, were recorded in the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, the highest number of injuries was recorded in the Qalqiliya Governorate (291), mainly around the checkpoint at the only entrance to the city. These were followed by Ramallah (188 injuries), mainly at the Beit El/DCO checkpoint, the Hebron Governorate (187 injuries), and the Jerusalem governorate (167 injuries), mostly in Al Eizariya and Abu Dis. At least five percent of the injuries in the West Bank and 19 percent of those in the Gaza Strip were caused by live ammunition, while most of the remainder were caused by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation.

Investigations by several human rights organizations regarding an Israeli airstrike on 11 October 2015 that killed a pregnant Palestinian and her daughter, and injured several others, found that the missiles had directly hit the victims’ home, not weapon production sites belonging to members of armed forces as stated in an Israeli official statement issued on 11 October.

During the week, the Israeli authorities removed two obstacles and added two others on main streets leading to Palestinian areas in occupied East Jerusalem. As of 26 October, there were 38 obstacles, including 16 checkpoints, directly impacting nine neighbourhoods with an estimated population of 138,000. This is in addition to five metal gates installed in the Old City of Jerusalem, heavy police presence, and widespread body searches carried out by Israeli forces on Palestinian pedestrians throughout the city. Additionally, on six separate days, Israeli forces prevented a number of Palestinian women and men from entering the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, and facilitated the entry of Israeli settlers and other groups into the mosque compound on five days. In the remaining West Bank, Israel forces closed/blocked the entrance to six villages, some intermittently, and placed over 100 ad hoc (‘flying’) checkpoints on main roads. Search and checking procedures at the previous and newly-deployed checkpoints across the West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem, have resulted in long queues, which disrupted the access of people to services, including educational and health facilities, places of work and holy sites.

On 20 October, in the Hebron governorate, Israeli forces demolished the internal walls and then sealed the main entrance to the family home of a man who had perpetrated an attack against Israeli settlers in November 2014. A punitive demolition order was also issued against the family home of the fourth and last suspect in the attack during which a settler couple were killed on 1 October, which is located in Nablus city. On 8 October, the High Commissioner for Human Rights reiterated that “collective punishments such as house demolitions are both illegal and counterproductive”.

Two structures were demolished in East Jerusalem for lack of Israeli-issued building permits, including a house located in Beit Hanina and an animal barracks erected on privately-owned land in Jabal al Mukkabir, sheltering about eighty sheep. A registered refugee family of seven, including five children, was displaced, and ten others were affected. Also, Israeli authorities issued demolition orders against at least six Palestinian-owned structures in Area C, and confiscated two privately-owned water tankers belonging to residents of Lifjim community (Nablus) for being located in a closed military training zone.

At least seven Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians or their property were recorded during the week, resulting in injury to at least four Palestinians, including one child (apart from the abovementioned stabbings and ramming incidents). three of the attacks affected Palestinians harvesting olives, including a 20-year-old man who was shot multiple times and seriously injured in Sa’ir, near the Israeli settlement of Asfar (Hebron); the physical assault of a 14-year-old child in Ya’bad (Jenin) and a 74-year-old man in Deir Al Hatab (Nablus).The remaining incidents involved stone-throwing by Israeli settlers at Palestinian vehicles and houses, an arson attack on a vehicle and damaging land by spilling sewage in Nahhalin (Bethlehem).

Two Palestinian attacks on Israeli settlers were reported (apart from the abovementioned stabbings and ramming incidents), resulting in four Israeli injuries. Attacks involved throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at two passing vehicles near Al Arrub Refugee Camp (Hebron) and in Al Bireh (Ramallah), near the Israeli settlement of Beit El. Also this week, an Israeli settler was killed near Al Fawwar Refugee Camp after being struck by a vehicle driven by a Palestinian who subsequently turned himself in to the Palestinian police.

The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the reporting period. The Crossing has been continuously closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 37 days of partial openings.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.