United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Protection of Civilians Report
Latest Developments (after the reporting period)
- On 22 February, Israeli forces shot and killed a 13-year-old Palestinian boy near Al Khadr village (Bethlehem). According to the Israeli authorities, the boy threw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli forces.
- On 22 February, an Israeli court suspended the forced eviction, which was planned for March, of a Palestinian family from their home in Sheikh Jarrah (East Jerusalem), following a legal case initiated by settlers. The suspension provides the family with a temporary reprieve until a further court hearing is scheduled.
Highlights from the reporting period
- Israeli forces shot and killed five Palestinians, including one child, in three separate incidents across the West Bank. On 14 February, a 17-year-old boy was killed, and ten others were injured in Silat al Harithiya (Jenin), in an incident where Palestinians shot and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces, who shot live ammunition, during a punitive demolition (see below). On 8 February, three Palestinian men were killed in Nablus city by an Israeli undercover unit; according to the Israeli authorities, they were members of an armed Palestinian group that had carried out attacks on Israeli forces. An Israeli human right organization investigated the incident and raised concern about possible excessive use of force and extra-judicial executions. Following the incident, Palestinians across the West Bank held demonstrations, where in some cases participants threw stones and Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and live ammunition, with at least 46 Palestinians reported injured (see below). On 15 February, a 19-year-old Palestinian man was shot and fatally injured at the entrance of An Nabi Salih (Ramallah), as Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli forces near a military tower. According to a medical source, the man was shot in the lower back from a very short distance. No Israeli injuries were reported.
- A total of 544 Palestinians, including 54 children, who were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Most of the injuries (442) were recorded in different demonstrations. These included some 344 injuries reported in five anti-settlement protests near Beita, Beit Dajan and Burqa (all in Nablus); in one of the demonstrations in Beita, two Palestinian first aid responders were shot and injured by live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets and two ambulances sustained damage. Some 67 injuries were reported in demonstrations against the killing of the three Palestinian men (see above), at Beit El checkpoint (Ramallah), at Huwwara checkpoint and at the entrances to Al Funduq (Qalqiliya) and Burqa (Nablus); and 24 injuries were reported in Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere in East Jerusalem, in demonstrations in solidarity with families at risk of forced eviction. In two incidents in Burqa (Nablus), 54 people were injured as Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces and the latter fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, following the entry of Israeli settlers into Palestinian villages (see below). Additional 48 injuries were reported in Al Lubban ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis and Seikh Jarrah (see Below).
- On 9 and 21 February, Israeli forces blocked the main entrance to Al Lubban ash Sharqiya (Nablus), disturbing the access of about 2,800 people to livelihoods and services. This was carried out as Israeli settlers gathered at the entrance of the village, to protest ongoing stone throwing by Palestinians at their vehicles. On the second occasion, Palestinians reportedly threw stones at Israeli forces, who shot tear gas canisters, some of which landed inside the compound of two schools; two students were treated for tear gas inhalation and classes were suspended for one day; at least 700 students were affected, according to the school principal. Also, on 8 February, Israeli forces blocked the main road connecting Al Quds University with Abu Dis town in Jerusalem. Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who shot live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, injuring seven Palestinians, including one with live ammunition.
Israeli forces carried out 139 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 198 Palestinians across the West Bank. At least three of the operations triggered clashes, that involved stone-throwing at Israeli forces who shot live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters resulting in four Palestinian injuries. The Ramallah governorates accounted for the highest portion of operations (30) and the Jerusalem governorate for the highest number of arrests (62).
- In Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinians, Israeli settlers, and police forces clashed almost daily. Thirty-five Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces, and at least 16, including one child were arrested by Israeli police. Tensions had risen in anticipation of the forced eviction which was later suspended (see above). and following the installation of an impromptu office by an Israeli Parliament member near Palestinian homes to protest reported arson attacks against settlers in the neighborhood.
- The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced owners to demolish 29 Palestinian-owned homes and other structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, 23 people were displaced, including eleven children, and the livelihoods of about 300 others were affected. Overall, 24 structures, three of which had been provided as humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions, were demolished in Area C. These included three structures in two herding communities located in areas designated by the Israeli authorities as ‘firing zones’ for military training in southern Hebron. Five structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, two by the authorities and three by the owners, who wished to avoid municipal fees and possible damage to personal belongings and to nearby structures. The Israeli authorities issued a warning order against a donor-funded school in Ras at Tin herding community (Ramallah), after parts of the school were dismantled twice in September 2020.
- On 14 February, the Israeli authorities demolished with explosives the second floor of a two-story residential building in Silat al Harithiya (Jenin) on punitive grounds, displacing one household, comprising six people, including four children. The home is one of three slated for demolition for belonging to the families of three men who are accused of being involved in the killing of an Israeli settler on 16 December. During the demolition, the first floor of the building sustained severe damage and was rendered uninhabited; as a result, two additional households, comprising nine people, including three children, were displaced.
- Israeli settlers injured eight Palestinians in four incidents, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in 23 instances across the West Bank. Seven Palestinians were injured and at least five cars and other property was vandalized in Burqa and Al Ganoub (Hebron). In six incidents, about 330 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were uprooted or vandalized near Israeli settlements around Salfit, Yasuf and Kafr ad Dik (all in Salfit governorate), Surif (Hebron), Kafr Ra’i (Jenin) and Shufa (Tulkarm). According to community sources and eyewitnesses, in Sheikh Jarrah, settlers punctured the tires of 13 Palestinian-owned cars and fenced off land in front of a house. Six additional attacks around Ramallah, Nablus, Salfit and Hebron were recorded, including breaking into houses, stealing agricultural equipment, and causing damage to a water facility and water pipelines. In four incidents, settlers attacked Palestinian herders and their cows in Mak-hul community in the northern Jordan Valley (Tubas), causing damage to crop. In another three incidents, settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Jerusalem, Hebron and Nablus injuring one Palestinian man and causing damage to at least three vehicles. In the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, settlers attacked and stoned three Palestinian houses.
- In 50 incidents across the West Bank, people known or believed to be Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles, injuring five Israeli settlers and causing damage to the vehicles.
- On multiple occasions between 9 and 11 February, Israeli forces forced at least seven Palestinian families in the Ibziq area of the Jordan Valley to evacuate their homes for most of the day to make way for Israeli military trainings. Forty-two people, including 17 children, were temporarily displaced. Israeli forces also conducted military trainings in an area designated by them as a ‘firing zone’ around Bardala, Khirbet Samra and Ein al Hilwa herding communities, in the northern Jordan valley, disrupting livelihoods and access to services and, in one case, causing damage to a water network and to crops.
- In Gaza, on at least 25 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, reportedly to enforce access restrictions. This represents a more than 200 per cent increase compared with the bi-weekly average in 2021. Israeli forces arrested seven fishermen, including three children, off the northern Gaza shore, confiscated their boat, before releasing all of them. Twice, Israeli forces levelled lands near the fence inside Gaza, east of Rafah and Khan Younis, causing damage to at least 15 dunums of cultivated land.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.