Latest Developments (after the reporting period)
2 June: Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian boy in Al Midya, Ramallah.
2 June: Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian during a search-and-arrest operation in Ad Duheisha Refugee Camp, Bethlehem.
1 June: Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in Ya’bad (Jenin) during an operation to punitively demolish the family home of a Palestinian who shot and killed five people in Israel on 29 March.
1 June: Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian woman, who reportedly tried to stab an Israeli soldier near Al Arrub refugee camp, Hebron.
Highlights from the reporting period
On 11 May, a prominent Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin refugee camp and another journalist was shot and injured with live ammunition; both were wearing press vests. The Special Coordinator and the Humanitarian Coordinator, echoing the spokespersons of the UN Secretary-General, have called for independent and transparent investigations and accountability. On 13 May, as thousands of Palestinians gathered for Abu Akleh’s funeral, Israeli police stormed Saint Joseph’s Hospital, where her body was being held, and attacked with clubs Palestinians participating in the funeral procession, including the pallbearers, and other mourners, injuring 33 and arresting 15. The UN Secretary-General said he was “deeply disturbed” by the behaviour of some of the police, and urged “respect for fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to peaceful assembly.”
Another two Palestinians, including one boy, and one Israeli soldier, were killed during exchanges-of-fire in two military operations in Jenin city and Jenin refugee camp; 34 Palestinians were injured during these operations. On 15 May, a Palestinian man succumbed to his wounds after being shot two days earlier by Israeli forces during a search-and-arrest operation involving an exchange of fire in and near Jenin refugee camp. During the operation, one Israeli soldier was killed, and at least 30 Palestinians were injured. Additionally, a home to five families was destroyed, resulting in the displacement of twenty people, including ten children; the destruction was reportedly part of a military procedure, whereby soldiers target a house where a suspect hides and refuses to surrender. On 20 May, Israeli forces conducted a search-and-arrest operation in Jenin city and exchanged fire with armed Palestinians; a 17-year-old Palestinian man reportedly involved in Molotov cocktail throwing, was killed by Israeli forces.
On 14 May a 23-year-old Palestinian man died after being injured on 22 April at Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet; according to Israeli media citing Israeli medical documents, no bullet wound was found on his body. On 16 May, Israeli forces restricted the access of Palestinian mourners to his funeral procession and shot rubber bullets at an ambulance carrying his body. During the procession, Israeli forces confiscated Palestinian flags and assaulted mourners. Palestinians reportedly shot firecrackers at Israeli police officers, who responded with stun grenades. Some 71 Palestinians and reportedly two Israeli police were injured, and about 18 other Palestinians were arrested, including children, in the cemetery near the Old City of Jerusalem.
On 24 May, Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, near Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus city. According to Israeli media reports citing Israeli forces, the boy was throwing a Molotov cocktail. This happened after Israeli forces accompanying Israeli settlers to the site fired sound bombs and Palestinians threw stones back at them; subsequently, Israeli forces shot live ammunition, rubber-bullets, and teargas canisters, injuring 89 Palestinians. Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces have killed two Palestinians, including one child, and have injured 306, while accompanying Israeli settlers to the site. Over the years, Joseph’s tomb has seen recurrent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces escorting Israeli settlers.
Israeli forces shot and killed another two Palestinian boys in separate incidents in the West Bank, that reportedly involved Palestinian stone-throwing. On 27 May, Israeli forces shot and killed a 14-year-old boy near Al Khader village (Bethlehem). According to Israeli media reports citing the Israeli Military, the boy was throwing Molotov cocktails; while according to eyewitnesses, he was shot in the back and was not involved in any clashes. During the boy’s funeral procession, three Palestinians, including one child, were shot, and injured with live ammunition as clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces at the entrance of the village. On 11 May, Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in Al Bireh as students were leaving their school nearby. Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who shot live ammunition, hitting the schoolboy in the chest, as well as another boy who was injured. Witnesses say both children were not involved in the stone throwing. No Israeli injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Overall, 1,240 Palestinians, including 38 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Some 268 injuries were recorded near Beita and Beit Dajan (both in Nablus), and Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) in demonstrations against settlements and while commemorating the 74th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the 1948 “An Nakba” (15 May). Another 309 injuries were recorded on 29 May, in clashes that erupted during eight protests held in Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah and the Old City of Jerusalem, against the entry of Israeli settlers and other Israeli groups into the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount (see below). In another fifteen incidents, in Qaryut, Qusra, Burqa, Huwwara and Burin (all in Nablus), Nablus city, Salfit city and Haris (Salfit), 357 people were injured after Israeli settlers entered Palestinian communities accompanied by Israeli forces. According to Palestinian sources, Israeli forces fired sound bombs in the air and residents threw stones back at them. On five occasions, Israeli forces shot and injured 40 Palestinians during clashes in the vicinities of Al Quds university campus in Abu Dis town (Jerusalem) and the Technical University in Tulkarm city. Another 52 Palestinians were injured during six search-and-arrest operations in Jerusalem and Jenin. Six others were injured during a demolition in Silwan in East Jerusalem, (see below and above). The remaining 208 injuries were reported in separate incidents in East Jerusalem (see above). Of all the Palestinian injuries, 75 were from live ammunition, and 261 from rubber bullets; most of the remaining injured people were treated for inhaling teargas.
On 29 May, thousands of Israeli settlers and other Israelis marched through East Jerusalem during the annual “Jerusalem Day,” which commemorates the Israeli capture of East Jerusalem in 1967. The Israeli authorities deployed thousands of police and installed metal barriers outside the Damascus Gate, blocking Palestinian access in and out of the Old City of Jerusalem, and forced owners to close their shops. Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces, during which, 87 Palestinians, including nine children and one woman, were injured with rubber bullets and stun grenades, and 72 Palestinians were arrested. Earlier on the same day, about 2,600 Israelis entered the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, triggering violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli police, who secured their entry. Israeli forces fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas canisters at Palestinian worshipers inside Al Qibli Mosque and closed its gates with iron chains for several hours, preventing them from leaving the structure. At least 20 Palestinians, including three women, were arrested during these clashes. In a statement, the Islamic body that administers the site, the “Waqf”, accused Israeli authorities of “violating the sanctity” of Al Aqsa by allowing “Jewish extremists to storm the mosque, making provocative tours and performing public prayers and rituals.”
The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 58 Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, eleven of the structures had been provided as donor-funded humanitarian aid. As a result, 110 people, including 59 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of about 607 others were affected. Some 46 of the structures were in Area C, including seventeen in an area designated as a ‘firing zone’ for military training, where Palestinian communities are at risk of a forcible transfer. Thirteen structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including five homes destroyed by their owners to avoid paying fines.
Additionally, the Israeli authorities demolished and sealed off three livelihood structures and a water well in Shu’fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem and in Ras ‘Atiya in Qalqiliya, respectively, without any prior notices. The well was the sole irrigation and drinking water source for about 4,000 dunums of cultivated lands; its sealing affects 1,200 Palestinian families in seven surrounding villages. On 18 May, a structure was demolished in in Area A, citing security reasons.
On 18 May Israeli forces delivered eviction orders against Palestinian families in 40 dunums of Palestinian farmland near Wadi Fukin (Bethlehem), including three homes, according to community sources, threatening the shelter and the livelihoods of eight families. The Israeli authorities had designated the area as ‘state land,’ which is rarely allocated to Palestinians. On 22 May, Israeli forces issued a requisition order against 22 dunums of Palestinian land in the village of Jinba, Masafer Yatta, in Hebron, citing security reasons, to complete part of the West Bank Barrier. Jinba is one of the herding communities at risk of forcible displacement, following the ruling of the Israeli High Court of Justice sanctioning the use of 30,000 dunums for military training purposes. The designation of this area as an Active Firing Zone could result in the eviction of about 1,200 Palestinians, including 580 children. On 25 May, the Jerusalem Municipality delivered a final demolition order to the owners of a residential building, comprising 12 housing units, in Wadi Qaddum in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Some 74 people, including 42 children, are at risk of displacement.
Israeli settlers injured twenty Palestinians, including four children, and people known or believed to be settlers damaged Palestinian property in 34 instances. On 22 May, a 15-year-old boy was beaten and abducted by settlers near Esh Kosdeh settlement (Nablus) for two hours before he was handed over to an ambulance and taken to the hospital for medical treatment. Ten other Palestinians were stoned or physically assaulted, including three in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, three in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and the Old City of Jerusalem, and four people, including a woman, in ‘Al Mas'udiya and Duma (both in Nablus). Nine additional injuries occurred in two separate incidents in Burqa after Israeli settler raided the village, throw stones at residents, and caused damage to vehicles. In another sixteen incidents around Ramallah, Hebron and Salfit, settlers caused damage to Palestinian livelihood structures, stole agricultural equipment and water tanks, and caused damage to a water facility and pipelines. Some 650 Palestinian-owned olive trees were uprooted in twelve incidents by settlers in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Salfit, Hebron, and Nablus, as indicated by local Palestinian communities. In Al Funduq (Qalqiliya), Kafr ad Dik (Salfit), Urif (Nablus) and Al Jiftlik (Jericho) villages and the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, settlers threw attacked these communities, throw stones at houses and vehicles, causing damage to at least twelve vehicles and two homes.
People known or believed to be Palestinians threw stones and injured five Israeli settlers and damaged ten Israeli vehicles travelling on West Bank roads. Incidents took place near Nablus, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. Israeli-plated vehicles and buses were damaged by stones or Molotov cocktails thrown at them in twenty-two incidents. In the Gaza Strip, on at least 59 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, two Palestinian fishermen were arrested. Additionally, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians while they were reportedly trying to cross into Israel through the perimeter fence east Rafah. On four occasions, Israeli military bulldozers conducted land levelling operations inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence.
On 15 May, the Israeli authorities lifted an 11-day-long ban on the exit of people holding Israeli permits from Gaza to Israel, mostly affecting workers and traders. The ban was initially imposed for two days, around Israel’s Memorial and Independence Days, and was expanded following the killing of three Israelis by Palestinians from the West Bank. During the ban, only medical and urgent cases were admitted out. Reportedly, 4,600 people, mostly workers, exited on 15 May, the highest daily number in 15 years.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.