OCHA: “Protection of Civilians Report | July 5-24, 2023”

[This section is based on initial information from different sources. Further confirmed details will be provided in the next report.]
On 25, 26 and 27 July, Israeli forces shot and killed five Palestinians, including one child, in three separate Israeli forces’ operations in Nablus and Qalqilia. During one of the operations, exchanges of fire were reported between Palestinians and Israeli forces.

A Palestinian man killed an Israeli soldier and injured an Israeli settlement security guard before being killed in an exchange of fire. On 6 July, a Palestinian man shot and killed an Israeli soldier before fleeing the scene and being killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces. The incident occurred near Jit junction, next to the Israeli settlement of Kedumim (Qalqilya), after Israeli forces stopped and searched a Palestinian vehicle. An Israeli security guard was injured in the same incident. Later the same day, Israeli forces raided Qibya (Ramallah), where the perpetrator came from, and took measurements of his family home, reportedly in preparation for its punitive demolition. During the raid, Israeli forces fired live ammunition and teargas canisters at residents who threw stones. Three Palestinians, including two children, were injured with live ammunition and 20 others received medical treatment after inhaling tear gas. Three other Palestinians were arrested. One Israeli soldier was injured by stone throwing, according to Israeli sources.Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in an operation that involved exchanges of fire in Nablus city. On 7 July, Israeli forces raided the old city of Nablus, surrounded a house, and exchanged fire with Palestinians inside. Two Palestinian men were killed. According to Israeli sources, the men were suspected of having shot at Israeli forces. Another 23 Palestinians were injured while throwing stones at Israeli forces, who fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, and teargas canisters. Three men were arrested. According to medical sources, Israeli forces reportedly obstructed the access of medical crews during the operation.One Palestinian died in Nur Shams Refugee camp (Tulkarm). On 7 July, a Palestinian man died from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device that he was preparing detonated. Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and injured another during two incidents in Nablus and Ramallah. On 10 July, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who they claim threw a grenade and shot at them at a checkpoint located on road 450 near Deir Nidham village (Ramallah). No Israeli casualties were reported. According to medical sources, Israeli forces prevented medical teams from reaching the injured man for around four hours. The body is being withheld by Israeli authorities. On 21 July, a Palestinian was shot and killed, and another was injured and arrested by Israeli forces in Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. The Israeli army reported an attempted vehicle ramming incident. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces who were patrolling in the area opened fire at the vehicle without warning. Human rights organizations reported finding more than 40 bullet holes in the  vehicle. Following the incident, Palestinian residents threw stones at Israeli forces who fired tear gas canisters, leading to 15 Palestinians requiring treatment due to tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including a 16-year-old child, and injured two others in two separate demonstrations against settlement expansion in the Ramallah area. On 7 July, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man and injured another in Umm Safa village during a demonstration against the establishment of a new Israeli settlement outpost. Palestinians reportedly threw stones at Israeli forces, who shot live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. According to eyewitnesses, the fatally injured man had not been taking part in the demonstration and was not involved in confrontations when he was shot. On 21 July, during a demonstration in Umm Safa, Palestinians threw stones and Israeli forces shot live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, killing a 16-year-old Palestinian and injuring another with live ammunition. The demonstration was held to protest ongoing Israeli settlement expansion and continuing settler attacks against the village. Israeli forces killed a Palestinian during a settler-related incident in Nablus city. On 20 July, clashes erupted between Israeli forces accompanying settlers into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus city and Palestinians. Palestinians fired live ammunition and threw explosive devices, and Israeli forces shot live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas canisters.  A Palestinian man was killed, and 73 Palestinians were injured, three by live ammunition, and 65 were treated for teargas inhalation. According to medical sources, Israeli forces prevented medical teams from accessing and transferring to hospital a 12-day-old baby who had inhaled teargas. And an ambulance windshield was shattered by rubber bullets.

This has brought the total number of Palestinian children killed in the West Bank so far in 2023 to 29, compared with 15 in the same period of 2022.

During the reporting period, 352 Palestinians, including at least 56 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank, including 26 people by live ammunition. The majority of the injuries (120) were reported in demonstrations against settlement expansion in Umm Safa (Ramallah) and settlement-related access restrictions in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqilya). An additional 121 injuries occurred during 19 search-and-arrest and other operations carried out by Israeli forces across the West Bank. This includes an operation during which Israeli forces raided Nur Shams Refugee Camp (Tulkarem) in Area A of the West Bank, causing damage to road infrastructure including sewage networks with bulldozers, which disrupted water, electricity, and sewage services. Six Palestinians were injured, including four by live ammunition and two by shrapnel. Following the operation,seven children were injured while reportedly tampering with an improvised explosive device. According to official Israeli sources, the operation was carried out to “neutralize explosive devices and apprehend wanted suspects”. In another seven incidents, mainly around Nablus and Ramallah, 87 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces. This followed the trespassing of Israeli settlers, accompanied by Israeli forces, into seven Palestinian communities; Urif and Nablus city, Kufur Qaddoum and Arab Al Khouli/Wadi Kana (both in Qalqilia), Kobar and Al Mazra’a al Qibliya (both in Ramallah) and At Tuwani (Hebron) during which stone throwing incidents were reported by Palestinian residents at Israeli forces. In another two cases, Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinians, including a child, while they were trying to enter Israel via informal openings in the Barrier near Tulkarem and Qalqilia. The remaining 22 Palestinian injuries, including four by live ammunition, occurred during stone throwing confrontations with Israeli forces positioned at the entrance of Beita (Nablus). Overall, 288 Palestinians were treated for teargas inhalation, 26 were shot with live ammunition, 29 were injured by rubber bullets, six with shrapnel, and three were physically assaulted. Sixteen (16) Palestinians, including two children, were injured by Israeli settlers; and people known or believed to be settlers damaged Palestinian property in another 44 instances across the West Bank. This is in addition to the Palestinian casualties by Israeli settlers and forces in the above-mentioned settler-related incidents. In two separate incidents, on 7 and 10 July, two Palestinian children were run over and injured by settlers near the entrances of Beit Ummar (Hebron) and Huwara (Nablus). On 12 July, four Palestinians were physically assaulted by settlers near the Ein al Beida community to the East of Tubas.  On 13 July, settlers accompanied by Israeli forces, physically assaulted Palestinian herders in Arab Al Kholi community (Qalqilia) resulting in property damage and injuries. According to the local community, Israeli forces who were present at the scene intervened to protect the settlers. Four elderly Palestinian men required medical treatment at hospital, with two of them in a serious condition.  Israeli forces shot teargas canisters and arrested six Palestinians. On the same day, settlers at the site of a newly established settlement outpost near Kobar village (Ramallah), threw stones at Palestinians, injuring one Palestinian man. Subsequently, Palestinians threw stones at the settlers and at Israeli forces who were accompanying them, and who fired sound and tear gas canisters. According to Israeli media, one settler was injured by a stone thrown during the incident. On 15 July, settlers threw stones and injured a Palestinian man while he was grazing his livestock in At Tuwani (Hebron). Palestinians threw stones at the settlers, injuring one, according to the Israeli media. Subsequently, Israeli forces raided the village and conducted a search operation, resulting in one Palestinian injury and the arrest of three human rights activists. On 17 July, settlers, reportedly from Beitar Illit settlement, physically assaulted a Palestinian woman while she was working on her land near Husan village (Bethlehem). On 22 July, settlers reportedly from the Haresha settlement outpost injured two Palestinians in the village of Al Mazra’a al Qibliya (Ramallah). One Palestinian was injured with rubber bullets fired by Israeli forces who intervened. According to community sources, more than 400 trees and saplings were vandalized during the reporting period on Palestinian land near Israeli settlements, in eight incidents near Al Bowereh, Adh Dhahiriya, Khirbet Sarura, and Umm ad Daraj (all in Hebron), Al Lubban ash Sharqiya and Sebastia (both in Nablus) and Al Mazra’a al Qibliya (Ramallah). Other Palestinian property was damaged, and livestock was injured, in 18 incidents in or near Ramallah, Nablus, Salfit, Hebron, and Jerusalem. The damaged property included residential and agricultural structures, tractors, crops, sections of water networks and solar panels. In the remaining 18 incidents reported across the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones and vandalized 38 Palestinian vehicles.Eight Israeli settlers, including three children, were injured by Palestinians in six separate incidents across the West Bank. On 16 July, armed Palestinians opened fire on Israeli plated vehicles on road 356 near the settlement of Tekoa (Bethlehem). Three Israelis were injured, including two children. Subsequently, Israeli forces conducted a search operation in Bethlehem city, where they injured five Palestinians, including three with live ammunition and raided a mosque where they arrested two Palestinians, including one suspected of carrying out the shooting attack. In addition to the two Israelis injured near Kobar and At Tuwani (see above), on 12 July, a 14-year-old boy was injured by stones thrown by Palestinians during an anti-settlement demonstration in Kobar (Ramallah). On 10 and 20 July, two Israelis were injured in a stabbing attack by Palestinians in Deir Qaddis village (Ramallah) and inside Ghilo settlement (East Jerusalem). In another three incidents, on 7, 9 and 16 July, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles near Ramallah and Nablus, resulting in the injury of one Israeli and damage to three vehicles, according to Israeli sources. Israeli forces forcibly evicted an elderly Palestinian couple from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem. On 11 July, the Ghaith-Sub Laban family were evicted from their home after their protected tenancy was terminated by Israeli courts, making way for their property to be seized by an Israeli settler organization, following their eviction, their home was immediately handed over to Israeli settlers. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the oPt stated that the Israeli laws used to evict the family are inherently discriminatory and in violation of Israel’s human rights obligations.  According to OCHA assessments, approximately 1,000 Palestinians are at risk of forced eviction in East Jerusalem, mainly due to court cases initiated by settler groups. The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 54 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including 20 homes, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. As a result, 66 Palestinians, including 34 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of more than 795 others were affected. Sixteen (16) of the affected structures were provided by donors in response to previous demolitions. Fifteen (15) out of those 16 structures were demolished in a single incident in Al Muntar (Jerusalem) and another structure was demolished in Beit Jala (Bethlehem). Eighty percent of the affected structures (43) were in Area C. The remaining eleven structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including nine residential structures, resulting in the displacement of five households, comprising 24 people, including 12 children. Eight out of the eleven structures demolished in East Jerusalem were destroyed by their owners to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities. Additionally, not counted above, Israeli authorities demolished two agricultural related structures in area C of Birin near Bani Na’im (Hebron) allegedly for “Trespassing a state land”.Eight households were displaced from Jerusalem governorate and the South Hebron Hills, citing settler violence and loss of access to grazing land. On 10 and 19 July 2023, seven households comprising 36 people, including 20 children and eight women (all registered refugees) of Al Baqa’a Bedouin community in the Jerusalem Governorate, and one Palestinian household comprising 13 people, including nine children of the Wedadie Herding community in the South Hebron Hills (South of As Samu’a village), dismantled their residential and livelihood structures and left their communities and relocated to safer places. According to the families, they left after increased settlement activities following the establishment of new shepherding and farming settlement outposts. 

About 300 people were displaced from Ras al Tin, Wadi as Seeq, Ein Samiya, Lifjim and Al Baqa’a between 2022 and 2023, citing settler violence and loss of access to grazing land as the primary reasons.

In the Gaza Strip, in at least 20 incidents, Israeli forces opened “warning fire” near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast. These incidents disrupted the work of farmers and fishermen. One fisherman was injured, and four others were arrested, and one boat was confiscated.On 5 July 2023, for the first time since the last May escalation, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired five rockets towards Israel, all of which were reportedly intercepted. Israeli air forces carried out four airstrikes and fired eight missiles, reportedly targeting positions belonging to armed groups in Gaza city and in northern Gaza. There have been no reports of injuries from either side. However, one house in Sderot and two civilian facilities in Gaza were damaged.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *