A good week in the West Bank: only 24 Arabs wounded by settlers and IDF

July 29, 2012
Sarah Benton

Protection of civilians weekly report
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
occupied Palestinian territory
18-24 July 2012

Settler-related incidents resulting in injuries or property damage:
This week: 10
2012 weekly average: 6
2011 weekly average: 8

Palestinians injuries by settler violence:

This week: 7
Injured in 2012: 77
2011 weekly average: 4

Israeli settlers injured by Palestinians:
This week: 1
Injured in 2012: 24
Injured in 2011: 37

Clashes and injuries in demonstrations continue; around 170 trees damaged by settlers

This week recorded a significantly lower number of Palestinian injuries (24) in comparison to the weekly average of injuries recorded since the beginning of 2012 (60). The majority of this week’s injuries were sustained during a weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya) against the prohibition on the use of the main road connecting the village to Nablus City, and to agricultural land in the vicinity of the nearby Qedumim settlement. Also, two Palestinians were injured during a demonstration in front of Ofer prison (Ramallah), held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. This week one of the striking prisoners, Akram Rikhawi, suspended his hunger strike , which he has been conducting over the past 100 days, in protest against the Israeli policy of administrative detention (imprisonment without charges or trial), after the Israeli authorities agreed to release him in January next year.

Three other Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces during two search and arrest operations in the communities of Burin (Nablus) and At Tabaqa (Hebron). Also this week, three members of Israeli forces were injured when stoned by Palestinians, two while driving on Road 60 in the Hebron governorate and another, a female police officer, inside the Old City of Jerusalem.

In three incidents this week, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and injured five Palestinians, including a 13 year-old boy, and stabbed and injured another while said Palestinians were working land or grazing sheep near the settlements of Betar Illit (Bethlehem), Kfar Adumim (Jerusalem) and Shilo (Ramallah). Also, Israeli settlers stoned a Palestinian while he was driving his car near Turmus’ayya village, injuring him. A settler was also injured when he fell while escaping stone-throwing Palestinians.

In a number of additional incidents, Israeli settlers cut down or uprooted around 170 trees, including over 40 olive trees next to Yatta village (Hebron) and over 80 grape vines in Beit Ummar (Hebron) and Al Khader (Bethlehem) villages.

Demolitions continue; eight communities at higher risk of forced displacement

On 22 July, the Israeli Minister of Defense submitted to the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) its position on a petition against the eviction of 12 herder communities in south Hebron, located in an area designated as a “firing zone”. According to the position, eight of the 12 communities (Majaz, Tabban, Isfey, Fakheit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba, and Kharuba), with an estimated population of 1,500, should be evicted from the area; the Israeli military would allow the residents to cultivate their land in the area and graze their sheep only during Jewish weekends and holidays, when the military does not train. In the meantime, and until the HCJ rules on this case, a temporary injunction issued by the court in the past, which prevents the eviction of the residents, continues to hold.

Some 18 percent of the West Bank has been designated as closed areas for military training. There are over 40 communities with a population of some 5,200 located in these areas, which are amongst the most vulnerable across the West Bank; they suffer from high levels of food insecurity, water scarcity and poor access to basic services.

Also, during the reporting period, the Israeli authorities demolished eight Palestinian-owned livelihood structures in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, due to the lack of Israeli issued building permits. Four water cisterns, including one under construction, and three agricultural rooms, were demolished in Farsh al Hawa (Hebron) and Al Khader (Bethlehem) communities. The three operating cisterns in the former community were providing water for agricultural purposes for 35 people, including 20 children, while the other one was funded by international bodies and was intended to supply 17 people with water for the same purpose. Since the beginning of 2012, 19 cisterns have been demolished by the Israeli authorities.

In East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished an animal shelter for the second time in less than a year and a 100-year-old room in an area between Ath Thuri and Silwan neighborhoods. The animal shelter provided a source of livelihood for a family of five. Also, an owner of a house in the Old City of Jerusalem was forced to demolish a room, which was an extension to his house, after receiving a demolition order. This brings the total number of structures demolished by their owners in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year to six.

In addition, the Israeli authorities delivered stop-work orders against fours houses in Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and against two other residences and two animal shelters in the Hebron governorate. Demolition orders were also issued against an agricultural road and a diesel tank, which is used for commercial purposes, in Haris village (Salfit).

Access restrictions to East Jerusalem eased for Ramadan Friday prayer; additional easings in Jericho and Nablus

On the first Friday of Ramadan (20 July), the Israeli authorities eased restrictions on access to Friday prayers in Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem for West Bank ID holders, according to age criteria. In this context, men and women over the age of 40 and children under 12 were allowed to enter East Jerusalem without permits, while the requirement for males and females between the ages of 13 and 40 to obtain permits remained in place.

This represents an expansion of the categories of people exempted from the permit requirement compared to last year, which included men over 50 and women over 45. No change has taken place regarding the access of Gaza residents to East Jerusalem, which remains totally banned.

According to the Israeli authorities, approximately 24,185 Palestinians entered East Jerusalem on 20 July through four authorized checkpoints (Qalandiya, Gilo, Shu’fat Camp and Az Zeitoun) along the Barrier. Access through the checkpoints was reportedly smooth, with no access-related incidents occurring.

Also on the occasion of Ramadan, the Israeli authorities removed a road block, which has been in place at the main entrance of ‘Aqraba village (Nablus), shortening the residents’ travel time to Nablus City, their main economic and services hub, for the first time in ten years.

Another positive step was implemented in the Jordan Valley area, in which Israeli forces opened the main, north-eastern historical entrance to Jericho City from Road 90, which had been closed since 2000. As a result, vehicles coming from the central and northern Jordan Valley can avoid a long detour of 4.5 kilometers via Yitav partial
checkpoint and access the city directly.

Report details Israeli violations and seizure of West Bank land

By Palestinian Information Centre
July 29, 2012

WEST BANK– The West Bank witnessed last week an Israeli frenzied campaign including seizure and confiscation of lands, in addition to a series of daily assaults on citizens, their homes, and their property.

The National Bureau for the Defense of Land revealed, in its weekly report, the Israeli ongoing demolition and accelerated seizure projects in the occupied West Bank.

In Jerusalem, a group of settlers tried to re-install the door on the southern entrance to the Ein Silwan under the protection of Israeli soldiers who closed Wadi Al-Hilwa Street.

In Bethlehem, a number of Israeli settlers set up dozens of mobile houses in the village of al-Khader and damaged a number of fruit trees where they dug a trench to create territorial contiguity between the Israeli outposts built on seized private Palestinian lands.

Moreover, IOF set up a military watchtower in the village of al-Khader near Bethlehem city.

In the Tubas area of the Jordan Valley, settlers seized nearly 50 dunums of land and began farming it. The land, which belongs to villagers, had previously been used by the Israeli army as tank emplacements.

In Al-Khalil, settlers from Susiya settlement seized five dunums of private Palestinian land near the town of Yatta. Settlers broke into the land and installed a power generator as part of plans to use the land for settlement expansion.

In addition Susiya and Maoun’s settlers uprooted olive trees and assaulted Palestinian houses in Yatta town southern Al-Khalil.

IOF bulldozed and damaged the link road connecting Om Safat and Alderat in Yatta south of Al-Khalil.

The Israeli occupation authorities began building a new section of its illegal apartheid wall in an area west of Masaha, a town west of Salfit governorate, where Israeli occupation forces closed the entrance of the area, preventing farmers from entering it to tend to their fields.

In Ramallah, three farmers from Sinjil village were injured in an attack by settlers while heading to their land. Meanwhile, violent clashes took place in Nabi Salah village between the villagers and Israeli settlers who tried to take over a water spring in the village.

For further accounts see the Susiya forever campaign, and a video on Death to the Arabs graffiti in Susiya

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