Latest Developments (outside of the reporting period):
On 23 February, Israeli forces demolished two homes in the Hebron governorate belonging to the suspected perpetrators of attacks against Israelis, displacing 18 people, including 11 children.
On 24 February, an Israeli soldier was shot dead by “friendly fire” during a stabbing attack in the Bethlehem governorate; the Palestinian suspected perpetrator was shot injured.
Six Palestinian attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis were reported during the week, resulting in the killing of a soldier and the injury of three other Israelis; three of the suspected perpetrators were shot and killed at the scene, including a child (16-years-old), while another two Palestinian children (both 14-years-old) were injured. The incidents included four stabbings and alleged stabbing attempts in East Jerusalem, at Beita checkpoint (Nablus), and at the Na’ale (Ramallah) and Sha'ar Binyamin (Jerusalem) settlements; along with one suspected ramming attack, next to Silwad village (Ramallah). In addition, two shooting incidents were reported at Beit El settlement near Ramallah, resulting in damage to one house. Since the beginning of the year, 27 Palestinians, including nine children, and four Israelis, were killed in attacks and suspected attacks carried out by Palestinians.
On 21 February, Israeli forces blocked four of the five access routes into Qabatiya village (Jenin) for three consecutive days, forcing residents (approx. 23,800) to rely on detours and disrupting access to services and workplaces. The closure followed the stabbing attack at Beita checkpoint, reportedly perpetrated by a 16-year-old boy resident of Qabatiya, who was shot and killed during the incident.
A 21-year-old Palestinian man was shot with live ammunition and killed during clashes in Beit Fajjar (Bethlehem). Clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) also resulted in the injury of 54 Palestinians, including eleven children. Three of the injuries occurred next to the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip and the rest were in the West Bank. The majority of injuries were reported during the weekly demonstrations in Ni’lin and Bil’in (Ramallah) and demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, particularly Mohammad al Qiq, who has spent more than 90 days on hunger strike. The remaining injuries took place in the context of clashes during search and arrest operations. This brings the total number of Palestinians killed in the oPt during clashes since the beginning of 2016 to seven, three of them children, and 946 injuries, including 316 children.
At least 21 incidents involving Israeli forces opening warning fire at Palestinian civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea in the Gaza Strip were recorded, none of which resulted in casualties. Four Palestinians were detained, including three near the border fence surrounding Gaza, after crossing into Israel without Israeli authorization, and one businessman at Erez crossing.
On 21 February, Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated a new school section in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar, to the east of Jerusalem, for lack of building permits. The new school section comprised seven caravans and three latrines, all of which were donor-funded, to create space for the first and second grades in the community’s school that serves 62 children. Residents of Abu Nuwar have recently come under increasing pressure by the Israeli authorities to “relocate” to a nearby site, in what may amount to a forcible transfer. The number of structures provided as humanitarian assistance that were destroyed or confiscated by the Israeli authorities since the start of 2016 already exceed the equivalent figure for all of 2015 (108 structures). Jabal al Baba, another community in the same area at risk of forcible transfer, received stop work orders against eleven homes and a mosque.
In the East Jerusalem area of Al 'Isawiya, the authorities destroyed eight agricultural structures due to lack of permits; several water tanks and a container were also damaged during the incident, while tens of trees were uprooted and several dunums of cultivated land were bulldozed. This has affected the source of livelihood of 45 people, half of them children.
The Israeli authorities uprooted approximately 120 olive trees belonging to farmers from Deir Istiya (Salfit) on grounds that the area is designated as a nature reserve. In the Nablus area, Israeli settlers, reportedly from Shilo settlement, uprooted 30 olive and almond saplings belonging to a farmer from Jalud village (Nablus).
Israeli forces damaged 400 dunums of land planted with barley belonging to residents of the Jinba , Al Halaweh and Al Markiz communities in the Masafer Yatta area of Hebron, over the course of a military training. Earlier this month, the Israeli authorities demolished 24 structures in the first two communities, following the failure of a mediation process. The Israeli army has designated this area as a closed military zone for training and has been seeking to remove all or part of the 12 Palestinian communities located there. This week, the authorities issued stop work orders against 12 structures in another community in the same area (Al Fakheit), half of them provided as humanitarian assistance.
Five incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians against Israeli-plated vehicles were reported by Israeli media, resulting in damage to four private vehicles near Hebron and Ramallah, as well as damages to the Jerusalem light rail in the Shu’fat area of East Jerusalem.
The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing was closed in both directions during the reporting period. The Crossing has been closed, including for humanitarian assistance, since 24 October 2014, except for 42 days of partial openings. Authorities in Gaza indicated that over 25,000 people with urgent needs, including around 3,500 medical cases, are registered and waiting to cross.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.