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OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report 23- 29 May 2007

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Of note this week

Gaza Strip:

- 12 Palestinians were killed, including one woman, and 68 injured during IDF military operations in the Gaza Strip, including during IAF air strikes, ground incursions near the border areas and IDF fire from the border fence. One Israeli man was killed and another injured when a Qassam rocket hit their car near Sderot.

- 86 Qassam rockets and 28 mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel (compared to 190 rockets and five mortar shells the previous week). Further private property damage was caused this week - rockets hit Israeli homes and damaged agricultural land. Large numbers of local residents left the area during the past week.

- 29 IAF air strikes were launched throughout the Gaza Strip, the majority at Executive Support Force (ESF) installations (military bases, guard posts, offices). A total of 18 structures were demolished, including one during a ground incursion, and a further 14 damaged.

- The IDF remain present in four areas in the northern Gaza Strip. Their presence has limited local resident movement, particularly around Sifa, and access to agricultural land.

- The latest ceasefire brokered between Hamas and Fatah supporters has largely held since 19 May. However, six Palestinians were killed and 15 injured in incidents of internal violence, including reckless use of weapons.

- The BBC's Gaza based correspondent, Alan Johnston, has been missing for more than 80 days after being abducted on 12 March 2007.

West Bank:

- Four Palestinians were killed, including one Palestinian man shot and killed by an IDF undercover unit in Jenin, and 19 injured in the West Bank. Three Israelis (IDF soldier, Border Policeman and private security guard) were also injured, including in one incident when Palestinian gunmen opened fire at them in Jerusalem.

- The IDF arrested a number of PA officials and law makers in the northern West Bank; in Nablus, the PA Education Minister, three Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members, the Mayors of Nablus and Beita and the Head of the Village Council in Tell; in Qalqiliya, the Mayor of Qalqiliya and the Director of the Higher Education department; in Tulkarm, a PLC member from Deir al Ghusun; in Salfit, the Mayor of Biddya; and in Jenin, the PA Minister of State.

- PA workers continued strike action during this week throughout the West Bank with all PA workers holding a three day strike on 24, 26 and 27 May. The strike in the health sector that had last for more than three months was suspended on 29 May.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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