Description of the disaster
Tensions in East Jerusalem were escalating in recent weeks (since the start of Ramadan on 13 April), after the Israeli authorities installed metal barriers outside the Damascus Gate, blocking access to a public area for Palestinians. Although a relative calm was restored with the removal of the obstacles on 25 April, tensions were further heightened by the Israeli authorities’ imminent eviction of four extended Palestinian former refugee families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, with the families at risk of eviction, triggering confrontations between Palestinians with Israeli settlers and Israeli forces. Confrontations that were initially centred on Sheikh Jarrah and the Old City spread to other parts of the city and subsequently to mixed communities in Israel.
Confrontations worsened substantially since 7 May, and on 11 May there was a “day of rage” with protests across West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as some in Palestinian communities in Israel. Protests and confrontations then continued both in the West Bank and Israel.
On 10 May, several rockets were fired from Gaza, some coming close to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Israeli forces resulting in retaliatory strikes from the Israeli Defense Forces. These led to significant injuries and casualties given the densely populated nature of the Gaza Strip. Aerial bombardments were continuing when the DREF was approved.