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OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report 09 - 15 May 2007

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Of note this week

Intense factional violence across the Gaza Strip erupted following the killing on 13 May of a senior Fatah leader. Heavy armed clashes occurred on Gazan streets between Fatah forces and Hamas and its affiliated Executive Support Force (ESF) and rival factions established checkpoints, searched vehicles and arrested/abducted people. As at 15:00 hours 15 May, 18 Palestinians were killed and more than 80 injured, including a four year-old girl in inter-factional violence, armed family feuds and reckless use of weapons/handling explosives.

Gaza Strip:

Palestinian/Israeli violence continues:

- One Palestinian man was killed and three Palestinians injured when the IDF opened fire from the border fence on two separate incidents;

- 23 Qassam rockets and 11 mortar shells were fired from Gaza towards southern Israel and the IDF Kissufim military outpost. The Israeli media reported that at least four Israelis were injured in Sderot although exact casualty figures are currently unconfirmed.

- An IAF helicopter fired a rocket at a suspected rocket-launch site northwest of Beit Hanoun. No injuries reported. The IDF detonated a roadside bomb found near the Kissufim outpost and also responded to mortar shells fired towards the base with heavy machine gunfire on three separate occasions;

- The IDF vessels opened fire twice at Palestinian fishing boats west of the Al Waha resort in Beit Lahia and west of Rafah. No injuries were reported although two fishermen were detained;

- The IDF arrested five Palestinians in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, including two Palestinians during a house-to-house search operation near Sufa under heavy air cover.

West Bank:

- Strikes amongst government workers continue in the West Bank (teachers, healthcare practitioners and Bethlehem municipality workers).

- A closure around the City of Jerusalem was imposed by Israeli authorities during their celebrations of 40 years of "reunification of Jerusalem".

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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