oPt

Occupied Palestinian territory: Protection of Civilians Report | 11 - 24 January 2022

Attachments

Highlights from the reporting period

Two Palestinian attacks or alleged attacks against Israeli forces resulted in the killing of an alleged perpetrator, the injury and arrest of another and the injury of an Israeli soldier. On 17 January, in Gush Etzion junction (Hebron), a 39-year-old Palestinian man reportedly tried to stab an Israeli soldier who then shot and killed him; by the end of the reporting period the body of the alleged assailant was still being withheld by the Israeli authorities. On 11 January, a Palestinian man drove his car into Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the entrance of Hallamish settlement (Ramallah), injuring one soldier and himself. Israeli forces, arrested the man. The families of both alleged perpetrators said that they had psychological difficulties.

Three Palestinian men died following separate Israeli military operations. On 12 January, during a search operation in Jilijliya village (Ramallah), Israeli forces detained, blindfolded and handcuffed an 80-year-old man for about an hour. Shortly after the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, as he was showing no movement, he was taken to hospital and pronounced dead. The Israeli authorities have announced an investigation. On 17 January, a 65-year-old Palestinian activist died of injuries sustained on 5 January, when he intervened and was run over by a tow truck which did not stop, during an Israeli Police operation to confiscate unlicensed cars in Umm al Kheir community (Hebron). According to Israeli media, the truck driver was stoned and injured in the head by Palestinians during the incident. On 24 January, Israeli forces in Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem) fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas canisters as Palestinians threw stones at them; six Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets. Multiple canisters landed near an UNRWA health center, where a 57-year-old patient inhaled teargas and while in an ambulance during his transfer to hospital; he died some hours later. In a statement issued on 26 January, UNRWA called upon the Israeli authorities to investigate the incident, reporting that health staff had appealed to the Israeli authorities to halt the shooting and to allow patients to exit the facility safely.

A total of 135 Palestinians, including 22 children, were injured by Israeli forces in clashes across the West Bank. Most injuries, 46 people, including at least six children, were in three incidents in Burqa and Beita (both in Nablus), where Israeli settlers had raided and attacked the communities, following which stone-throwing with Palestinians ensued, and Israeli forces intervened and fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. Another 16 injuries were recorded during clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces following the entry of a group of Israelis to visit a religious site in Nablus city. Palestinians were also wounded during anti-settlement protests near Beita (28) and Kafr Qaddum (23) in the Nablus and Qalqiliya governorates, and eleven were injured during demonstrations near Beit El checkpoint in Ramallah, protesting the arrest of four university students by Israeli forces from Birzeit University. One man was physically assaulted and injured by Israeli forces during a demolition in Hebron (see below), and another three during a search-and-arrest operation in Bethlehem. Overall, two Palestinians were injured by live ammunition, 24 by rubber bullets, and most of the rest were treated for inhaling teargas.

Israeli forces carried out 88 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 148 Palestinians across the West Bank. Most of the operations took place in the Jerusalem and Hebron governorates. In a separate incident, on 18 January, Israeli forces raided a school in Deir Nidham village (Ramallah) and physically assaulted and arrested two 17-year-old students, reportedly for throwing stones. According to the principal, Israeli forces damaged school windows, chairs and tables, during physical confrontations between school staff, students and Israeli forces. Classes were suspended for the remainder of the day, affecting over 210 pupils.

Israeli forces continued to block with earth mounds the main entrances to the villages of Sabastiya, Burqa, and Al Mas’udiya (all in Nablus), in the vicinity of which an Israeli settler was shot and killed on 16 December; these measures have forced about 8,000 Palestinians to rely on long detours, disrupting their access to livelihoods and services. In addition, Israeli forces continued to intermittently staff a checkpoint near the Israeli settlement of Shavei Shomron, checking Palestinian vehicles causing long delays. Israeli forces also leveled lands and placed earth mounds on agricultural roads in Deir al Ghusun (Tulkarm) and Mount Sabih (Nablus), denying access of Palestinians to farmlands.

In the early hours of 19 January, Israeli forces forcibly evicted an extended family, comprising 12 people including two children, from their home in Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem, and demolished the house. The operation started on 17 January when Israeli forces demolished commercial structures in the compound but did not evict the people. According to the Jerusalem Municipality, the land has been allocated for the construction of a school for children with disabilities. About 20 people were arrested during the operation, including family members and activists. Concerns have been raised by Member States at the UN Security Council regarding the physical measures used by Israeli forces during the operation. Another family in Sheikh Jarrah is due to be forcibly evicted by the Israeli authorities between late January and early February, following a legal case initiated by settlers.

The Israeli authorities demolished, or forced owners to demolish 20 Palestinian-owned structures, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, 39 people were displaced, including 19 children, and the livelihoods of 38 others were affected. Fifteen of the structures were in Area C and five in East Jerusalem. In Khirbet Al Fakheit (Hebron), in an area designated by the Israeli authorities as a ‘firing zone’, eight structures, including homes, animal shelters and a water cistern were demolished; five of these had previously been provided as humanitarian assistance.

Israeli settlers injured three Palestinians in three incidents, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in 14 instances across the West Bank. During a raid on Huwwara town (Nablus), on 24 January, settlers injured one Palestinian and smashed the windows of at least five cars and at least two shops. On 21 January, settlers physically assaulted and injured five Israeli human rights activists, set fire to one of their vehicles and damaged another, in farmland next to Burin village (Nablus). At least 550 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were uprooted or vandalized in Deir Sharaf and Qaryut (Nablus), Yassuf (Salfit), Massafer Yatta (Hebron), and Mazra’a al Qibiliya (Ramallah).

In 18 incidents across the West Bank, people known or believed to be Palestinians threw stones or Molotov cocktails at Israeli-plated vehicles, injuring two Israelis and causing damage to the vehicles. Also, on 15 January, a synagogue was set on fire in a settlement outpost in southern Hebron, reportedly by Palestinians.

In Gaza, on at least 25 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, with no injuries reported. On three occasions, Israeli forces levelled land near the fence inside Gaza.

This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.

Disclaimer

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