• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

Occupied Palestinian Territory: Report on the Protection of Civilians | July 19 – August 1, 2022 – Occupied Palestinian Territory

ByJanice K. Merrill

Aug 1, 2022
  • Two Palestinians were killed and 19 others injured by Israeli forces during search and arrest operations across the West Bank. On July 24, Israeli forces raided the Old City of Nablus, where an exchange of fire with armed Palestinians was reported, and Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters at residents who were throwing rocks. Two Palestinian men were shot and killed and 19 others were injured. According to the Israeli army, quoted by Israeli media, Israeli forces raided the town to arrest a Palestinian suspected of shooting at Israeli settlers who had visited Joseph’s Tomb, a nearby religious site, on 30 July. The home of a Palestinian family was destroyed, reportedly when Israeli forces shelled the building, displacing three people. Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians, including six children, during search and arrest operations in the West Bank. In some of these incidents, firefights were reported. In addition, during the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted 143 search and arrest operations and arrested 190 Palestinians in the West Bank. Hebron Governorate accounted for the highest share of operations (37) and arrests (57).

  • A 59-year-old Palestinian man with a mental disability died of injuries sustained on July 26 when Israeli forces fired live ammunition at him near the Huwwara checkpoint (Nablus). According to human rights organisations, the man was shot several times despite posing no apparent threat.
    According to the Israeli army, he was walking towards soldiers and did not stop after they fired “warning” shots. According to an eyewitness, the Palestinian was walking away from the soldiers before he was shot. The body is still being held by Israeli authorities.

  • On July 29, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed in the village of Al Mughayyir (Ramallah) either by an armed Israeli settler or by Israeli forces, after a group of armed settlers attacked an area where Palestinians were protesting against settlement activities (more details below). The settlers attacked the Palestinians who threw stones and the Israeli forces intervened by firing rubber bullets and live ammunition. Three other Palestinians were injured, two of them with live ammunition fired either by Israeli forces or armed settlers. This year, Israeli settlers have entered Palestinian communities or private properties more frequently. When this happens, clashes often take place between settlers and Palestinians, followed by clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces once the latter intervene. Since the beginning of the year, three Palestinians, including a child, have been killed and 1,214 injured in such incidents. On a bi-weekly average, the number of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces following settler raids/entrances this year has increased by 167% compared to last year’s bi-weekly average.

  • A total of 132 Palestinians, including seven children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Some 85 injuries were recorded near Beita and Beit Dajan (both in Nablus), Kafr Qaddum (Qalqilya), Haris (Salfit) and Al Mughayyir (Ramallah) during six protests against settlement expansion. In the villages of Huwwara and Burin (both in Nablus) and in the Silwan area of ​​East Jerusalem, 18 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces after Israeli settlers entered Palestinian communities, accompanied by Israeli forces . According to Palestinian community sources, Israeli forces fired sound bombs and live ammunition into the air, and residents threw rocks at them. Twenty-one other Palestinians were injured during three search and arrest operations in the Askar refugee camp (Nablus), the old city of Nablus and the Ad Duheisha refugee camp (Bethlehem). In two other separate incidents, two Palestinian workers trying to reach their work sites in Israel through informal openings near Tarqumiya and Adh Dhahiriya (both in Hebron) were injured by live ammunition by Israeli forces. Three additional injuries were reported during a punitive demolition in Qarawat Bani Hassan (Salfit) (see more details below). And three other Palestinians were injured near the Huwwara checkpoint (Nablus), according to Israeli forces, after opening fire on soldiers. Of all Palestinian wounds, 22 were caused by live ammunition and 21 by rubber bullets; most of the others were treated for tear gas inhalation.

  • Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated or forced people to demolish 38 Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, citing the lack of building permits issued by Israel; two of the structures had been provided as part of donor-funded humanitarian assistance. As a result, 32 people, including 17 children, have been displaced and the livelihoods of approximately 335 others have been affected. 36 of the targeted structures were in Area C, including a house in the Bedouin community of Umm Qussa in south Hebron, an area designated as a “firing zone” for military training, and where Palestinian communities are at risk to be forcibly transferred. Four of the targeted structures in Area C were demolished based on Military Order 1797, which provides for 96 hours’ notice and limits the ability to legally challenge the demolition in Israeli courts. This displaced two households comprising nine people and affected the livelihoods of three other households comprising 22 people. A total of 205 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished based on Military Order 1797 since it came into force in July 2019. Two other structures were demolished in East Jerusalem. Both structures were destroyed by their owners to avoid paying fines.

  • On July 25, Israeli forces attacked the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan (Salfit), in Area B, and demolished two multi-storey houses of families whose members were accused of killing an Israeli settlement guard in April 2022. The demolition caused damage to three other nearby houses. The displaced families included 18 people, including 10 children. During the demolition, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinians; three Palestinians were injured. Since the start of 2022, eight houses have been demolished for punitive reasons, compared to three in 2021 and seven in 2020. Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment and as such are illegal under international law as they target families of an author. , or alleged perpetrator.

  • Israeli forces restricted the movement of Palestinians in several other locations in the West Bank. Forces kept the main entrance gate of Kifl Haris (Salfit) closed after it was initially closed on July 13; blocked by mounds of earth four roads that connect Huwwara (Nablus) to Route 60 and neighboring villages.
    This has resulted in long detours, disrupting the access of more than 27,000 Palestinians to livelihoods and services. These restrictions are said to be linked to Palestinian stone-throwing at the vehicles of nearby Israeli settlers. In a separate incident, the Israeli authorities also set up flying checkpoints at Masafer Yatta and installed a new fixed checkpoint with a metal gate, in an area declared a firing zone by the Israeli authorities, blocking the access to the Jinba community, hampering the movement of residents and aid workers; the staff of two NGOs were stopped at the checkpoint for several hours and their vehicles were seized.

  • On July 28, Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, moved into an empty Palestinian house in the H2 neighborhood of the city of Hebron. This is the second takeover of a Palestinian home in the H2 neighborhood of the city of Hebron since the beginning of the year. Palestinians near H2 settlements are exposed to Israel’s coercive policies and practices, causing many to leave the area.

  • Israeli settlers injured five Palestinians and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in 12 cases. In four incidents in Kafr Thulth (Qalqiliya), Kafr ad Dik (Salfit) and Kisan (Bethlehem), Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers while working on their land; the settlers used sticks, truncheons and metal bars and threw stones, injuring five Palestinians, including an elderly man. In two incidents, around 60 trees belonging to Palestinians were uprooted or vandalized near Israeli settlements near Beit Dajan (Nablus).
    Three Palestinian-owned cars were vandalized and stone-throwing was reported, causing damage to two Palestinian homes and shops in six other incidents near Bruqin (Salfit),
    Burin (Nablus) and the Old City of Jerusalem. Four other incidents in Nablus and Ramallah caused damage to crops, livestock and agricultural equipment.

  • On several occasions during the reporting period, Israeli settlers marched and erected camping tents in different locations in the West Bank, as part of an effort to establish new settlements or expand existing ones. Israeli forces later evicted the settlements, saying they were unauthorized, while others are still there. Israeli forces have implemented movement restrictions, including four times blocking with earth mounds the roads that connect Qarawat Bani Hassan and Deir Istiya, west of (Salfit) with Highway 60 and neighboring villages ; and restricting with a roadblock access between the villages of Bruqin and Kafr ad Dik, northwest of (Salfit) and access between the area of ​​Al Bowereh in the city of Hebron. This has resulted in long detours, disrupting the access of more than 11,000 Palestinians to livelihoods and services.

  • People known or believed to be Palestinians injured three Israelis and damaged three Israeli vehicles in three incidents of stone-throwing at vehicles traveling on West Bank roads in Nablus and Ramallah governorates, according to Israeli sources.

  • In the Gaza Strip, on at least 43 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning shots near the Israeli perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, without injuring or of damage. In one incident, two Palestinians from Gaza, including a child, were arrested by Israeli forces, apparently as they attempted to enter Israel through the perimeter fence. A Palestinian from Gaza was arrested by Israeli forces at the Erez crossing.