OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Protection of Civilians Report | December 21, 2021 – January 10, 2022.

Three Palestinians reportedly tried to stab, ram or open fire at Israeli forces or settlers in three separate incidents in the West Bank and were subsequently killed by Israeli forces. On 21 December, according to official Israeli sources, a 22-year-old Palestinian man tried to drive into Israeli soldiers stationed at Mevo Dotan checkpoint west of Jenin. The forces opened fire at the car, which crashed into a military vehicle causing both to catch fire. According to Israeli sources, on 31 December, a 32-year-old Palestinian tried to stab Israeli soldiers and settlers at a junction near the Israeli settlement of Ariel (Salfit), before being shot; Palestinian sources dispute the allegation that he tried to stab soldiers. On 22 December, a 26-year-old Palestinian man, was shot and killed by Israeli forces near Al ‘Amari refugee camp (Ramallah). According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the man was hit in his back with live ammunition inside his car during clashes that erupted at the entrance of the camp. Israeli media report that Israeli forces opened fire at the man while they were chasing a Palestinian vehicle that opened fire at them near Psagot settlement (Ramallah). No Israeli injuries were reported in any of these incidents.

One more Palestinian was killed and six others were injured by Israeli forces in search-and-arrest operations across the West Bank. On 6 January, Israeli forces conducted such an operation in Balata refugee camp (Nablus) and exchanged fire with armed Palestinians; a 21-year-old Palestinian man was killed. Another six Palestinians were injured during three search-and-arrest operations in Jerusalem, Hebron and Ramallah. In total, Israeli forces carried out 88 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 109 Palestinians. The largest number of operations was recorded in the Hebron governorate (32), followed by Bethlehem (28) and Jerusalem (15).A 63-year-old Palestinian woman and a 25-year-old man died after being hit by Israeli settler vehicles near Sinjil and Beit Sira villages (Ramallah) on 24 December 2021 and 5 January respectively. Both Israeli drivers reportedly turned themselves in to the Israeli Police, where investigations have been opened. On 5 January, in Umm al Kheir (Hebron), an elderly Palestinian man was critically injured after being hit by an Israeli police truck that was confiscating unregistered vehicles; according to Israeli sources the truck had been stoned at the time of the incident.

A total of 693 Palestinians, including 177 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Most injuries were in five incidents in Burqa, Sabastiya and Deir Sharaf (Nablus), where 490 people, including 124 children, were injured by Israeli forces, following stone-throwing between Palestinian residents and Israeli settlers after the latter raided and attacked Palestinian communities (see below). On 25 December, 26 Palestinians required medical treatment for inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces following clashes between settlers and Palestinians during a demonstration organized by Israeli settlers, who gathered at the entrance of Sabastiya (Nablus), and threw stones at Palestinian vehicles. Another 181 were wounded during anti-settlement protests near Beita (126) and Beit Dajan (55) in the Nablus governorate, and one during demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails in Dura (Hebron). Three women were physically assaulted and injured by Israeli forces during a demolition in Hebron (see below).

On 29 December 2021, Israeli forces physically assaulted and injured a teacher while staff were trying to prevent them from entering a high school in Tuqu’ (Bethlehem); and on 10 January, a student was shot and arrested along with three other students in Birzeit University (Ramallah). Overall, 28 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition, 107 by rubber bullets, and most of the rest were treated for teargas inhalation that required medical treatment.In the Gaza Strip, on 29 December, a Palestinian armed group member shot and injured an Israeli man working on the Israeli side of the perimeter fence, following which Israeli forces fired tank shells at Gaza, injuring four Palestinian farmers, including a child. On one occasion, Palestinian armed groups fired rockets at Israel, and Israeli forces carried out air strikes, reportedly targeting armed groups’ positions and open fields.

On at least 66 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza, ostensibly to enforce access restrictions. No injuries were reported. Israeli military bulldozers levelled land inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence, twice.Israeli settlers injured three Palestinians in two incidents, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in 25 instances across the West Bank. Two Palestinian farmers were stoned by Israeli settlers while they were working their lands in Susiya (Hebron). A Palestinian man was physically assaulted, sprayed with pepper, injured and cuffed-down by Israeli settlers for two hours in Azmut (Nablus), before being released by Israeli forces and taken to hospital. More than 550 trees were vandalized in eight incidents in Hebron, Nablus and Salfit governorates, including two incidents in areas designated by the Israeli authorities as ‘firing zones’ in southern Hebron. At least six Palestinian-owned vehicles were damaged in four stone-throwing incidents in Qalqiliya, Nablus, Salfit and in the H2 area of Hebron city.

A water facility, a shop and a stone wall were vandalized in three incidents in Qaryut and Bizzariya (both in Nablus) and Hebron, when Israeli settlers raided the communities. In the H2 area of Hebron, settlers stoned a Palestinian home, causing damage to the windows and furniture.People known or believed to be Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles in the Jerusalem, Nablus and Jericho governorates, injuring eleven settlers. According to Israeli sources, stone-throwing damaged around 50 Israeli-plated cars throughout the West Bank.Since the shooting and killing of an Israeli settler and the injury of another two on 16 December, long delays have been reported at checkpoints and new closures have been imposed by Israeli forces at the entrances to three nearby villages in Nablus governorate, where the killing took place, disrupting access to services and livelihoods. Israeli forces continued to intermittently staff a checkpoint near the Israeli settlement of Shavei Shomron, checking and searching Palestinian vehicles, thereby causing long delays.

On 6 and 8 January, Israeli forces installed earth-mounds blocking six roads that connect Sabastiya and the main entrance of Al Mas’udiya villages (Nablus) with Road 60.The Israeli authorities demolished, seized, or forced owners to demolish, 63 Palestinian-owned structures, citing lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, 62 people were displaced, including 35 children, and the livelihoods of 216 others were affected. A total of 44 structures were demolished in Area C, 19 of those structures, including seven residential shelters, had been provided as humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions. Three households comprising 16 people, including five children, were displaced twice in the herding community of Ibziq (Tubas), in the northern Jordan Valley, located within an Israeli-declared ‘firing zone’ and ‘nature reserve.

Nineteen of the demolished structures were in East Jerusalem, of which four were homes demolished by their Palestinian owners to avoid municipal fees and possible damage to other structures and personal belongings.Between 27 December and 2 January, at least six Palestinian families were forced to evacuate their homes for most of the day to make way for Israeli military trainings in the Ibziq area of the Jordan Valley. 38 people, including 17 children have been affected. After these incidents, the Israeli High Court of Justice reportedly issued an injunction halting demolitions and military trainings in the area where these families live. Additionally, on 22 December, Israeli forces conducted military trainings in an area designated as a ‘firing zone’ around Al Farisiya, Ein al Hilwa and Hammamat al Maleh herding communities, in the northern Jordan valley, disrupting livelihoods and access to services.

This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.

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