oPt

Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt): Response to the escalation in the oPt - Situation Report No. 3: 4-10 June 2021

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Highlights In Gaza, up to 8,500 internally displaced people (IDPs) remain with host families and in two UNRWA schools.
Damage to basic infrastructure and utilities is limiting the provision of electricity, health services and piped water.
Clashes continued across the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in Jenin.
Members of the humanitarian community have raised about US$13 million of the $95 million required to fully implement the emergency response plan, to support 1.1 million Palestinians for three months.
Situation overview Gaza Strip No serious incidents have been reported since the ceasefire entered into effect on 21 May. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), during the escalation, 256 Palestinians, including 66 children and 40 women were killed in Gaza, of whom 128 are believed to be civilians, 62 members of armed groups, and 66 are undetermined. About 245 of these, including 63 children and 40 women, were seemingly killed by Israeli Forces.

Almost 2,000 Palestinians were injured during the hostilities in Gaza, including over 600 children and 400 women, some of whom may suffer from a long-term disability requiring rehabilitation. On 9 June, a nine-year-old boy was killed and his older brother was severely injured by the detonation of an explosive remnant of war (ERW) device, which they discovered near their house in the Az Zaitoun area of Gaza city.

At the height of the escalation, 113,000 IDPs sought shelter and protection at UNRWA schools or with hosting families. There are still about 8,500 IDPs, including 247 people in two UNRWA schools, primarily those whose houses were destroyed or so severely damaged as to be uninhabitable. According to local authorities, an estimated 15,130 housing units sustained some degree of damage, as did multiple water and sanitation facilities and infrastructure, 141 government schools and 33 health facilities.

The Ministry of Education and UNRWA concluded the school year on 3 and 10 June respectively, due to continuing electricity and internet cuts and damage to school infrastructure. Although damaged electricity feeder lines and networks have been reconnected, rolling daily power cuts have increased to 12 hours per day across Gaza since 1 June, also due to the inability of the Gaza Power Plant to resume normal functioning due to lack of fuel. As a result of the long hours of power cuts and damage to infrastructure, an estimated 400,000 people still have irregular access to piped water.

The Israeli authorities have kept the Erez Crossing closed for most Palestinians in Gaza, with the exception of urgent medical referrals, including cancer patients. In the first week of June, they approved some 43 per cent of referrals for patients to exit Gaza to Israel or the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, compared with 13 per cent in the last week of May.

They have also kept Kerem Shalom Crossing open for the entry of specific basic commodities, including fodder and medical supplies as well as fuel for the private sector and for UNRWA. Al other imports are prohibited. Since 10 May, the Israeli authorities have not authorized the exit of any goods.

Truckloads of aid, including food and medicine from Egypt and other countries, continue to enter through the Rafah crossing with Egypt on most days, as do food, fuel and construction materials through the Salah Ad Din gate.

Since 25 May, the Israeli authorities have allowed fishing to resume off the Gaza coast, but only up to six nautical miles off shore.

West Bank, including East Jerusalem During the reporting period, clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians and continued across the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. In the early hours of 10 June, undercover Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinians and critically injured at least one man during a military operation in Jenin. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, two of the fatalities and the injured man were members of Palestinian security forces, with the full circumstances of the incident still unclear.

On 4 June, Israeli forces injured 293 Palestinians in two separate demonstrations against the construction of new Israeli settlement outposts near Beita and Beit Dajan villages in Nablus. In the Beita incident, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that Israeli forces injured 26 Palestinians with live ammunition and 46 with rubber-coated metal bullets. According to OHCHR(link is external), “based on OHCHR’s direct monitoring, use of lethal force did not appear warranted and raises concerns of excessive use of force.”

Search-and-arrest operations by Israeli forces have doubled since the escalation of unrest in East Jerusalem in mid-April, compared with the previous weekly average recorded since the beginning of 2021. During the reporting period, 78 Palestinians, including ten children, were arrested in such operations, with the majority (24) in the Old City of East Jerusalem.

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their property continued to increase in the West Bank, with four Palestinian residents injured in three incidents in the H2 area of Hebron. One Palestinian was also injured and at least ten vehicles sustained damage on Road 60 near Huwwara and Beita villages of southern Nablus, reportedly by Israeli settlers. Additionally, at least 30 olive trees belonging to Palestinians from Nilin village (Ramallah) were set on fire, reportedly by Israeli settlers from a nearby settlement outpost.

Sheikh Jarrah In East Jerusalem, Palestinian families still face the threat of forced eviction by the Israeli authorities from their homes in the Karm Al Jaouni area of Sheikh Jarrah, due to court cases initiated by Israeli settler organizations. On 7 June, the Israeli Attorney-General announced that he would not intervene in the High Court proceedings with respect to the pending eviction of four of these families. The High Court must now schedule a hearing on the families' leave to appeal request and issue a ruling accordingly.

Since 3 May, Israeli forces have been stationed at all five entrances to Karm Al Jaouni, allowing entry only to the 114 Palestinian neighbourhood residents (some 29 families, including 37 children), who are ordered to present identifying documents, as well as to Israeli settlers, journalists, ambulances and UN vehicles. These checkpoints were reinforced on 16 May after a Palestinian rammed his car into seven members of Israeli forces, injuring them, and was subsequently shot dead. According to the community, access by Israeli settlers has been permitted without ID checks by Israeli forces.

On 5 June, Israeli police physically assaulted and arrested a journalist while she was covering a protest in Sheikh Jarrah. She was released several hours later and received a 15-day restraining order, barring her entry to the neighbourhood. On 6 June, Israeli forces arrested three Palestinian activists from Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan and summoned another for interrogation. Palestinians staged a protest outside of Salah Ad Din Detention Centre in East Jerusalem, which led to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, with at least 11 Palestinians injured by rubber bullets and stun grenades. The two Palestinian activists from Sheikh Jarrah were released by Israeli police the same day.

On 10 June, the Jerusalem District Court postponed until 8 July its decision on an appeal against an eviction order related to two residential buildings, comprising three apartments, in the Batan al Hawa neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, challenging a 23 December 2020 ruling issued by the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, which upheld their eviction orders and called for their evacuation from their properties by 1 March 2021. If the eviction were to proceed, a total of three Palestinian families, comprising 20 persons, including 12 children, will be forcibly displaced from their homes.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.