United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Protection of Civilians Report
Latest Developments (after the reporting period)
- On 9 March, a 23-year-old Palestinian man succumbed to wounds sustained on 2 March when Israeli forces shot him near Burqa (Nablus).
Highlights from the reporting period
- Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinians, including two children, in incidents that reportedly involved stone or Molotov cocktail throwing. On 22 February, a 13-year-old boy was shot and killed near Al Khadr (Bethlehem), according to Israeli sources, after he threw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli vehicles. On 1 March, a 19-year-old youth was shot and killed near Beit Fajjar (Bethlehem); he reportedly passed by with a friend and started running away upon noticing Israeli soldiers searching for Palestinian stone-throwers; the forces reportedly opened fire while chasing the two; according to medical sources, the man was shot in the head from a close distance. On 6 March, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was shot in Abu Dis (Jerusalem), reportedly after throwing a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers positioned near a military tower; he succumbed to his wounds in a hospital; according to medical sources, the boy was shot in the head. No Israeli injuries were reported in any of the three incidents. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, has stated in this context that “children must never be the target of violence or put in harm’s way.”
- On 6 and 7 March, in the Old City of Jerusalem, two Palestinians, 19 and 22 years old, stabbed and injured three Israeli policemen and were subsequently shot and killed by Israeli police. One of the assailants was reportedly shot while he was lying on the ground wounded after being initially shot. The bodies of both assailants are withheld by the Israeli authorities, as of the end of the reporting period. The Special Coordinator highlighted that “there can be no justification for violence or terror, which must be condemned by all. Israeli security forces must use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable to protect life.”
- Another two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during an exchange of fire and 12 others were injured as Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces during search-and-arrest operations. On 1 March, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian men and injured another one in an exchange of fire that took place in the Jenin refugee camp; one of the fatalities is reportedly a member of an armed Palestinian group. Another twelve Palestinians were injured during five search-and-arrest operations in Jerusalem, Hebron, and Ramallah. In total, Israeli forces carried out 82 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 183 Palestinians.
- Israeli forces blocked the main entrances to five Palestinian villages, disrupting the access of tens of thousands to livelihoods and services. On 22 February, for the second time in a week, the main entrance to Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village (Nablus) was blocked for vehicular traffic for several hours, during a protest organized by Israeli settlers against Palestinian stone-throwing. During the closure, some Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who shot teargas canisters. Six school students were treated for teargas inhalation. Also, the entrances to Burqa (Nablus), Silat adh Dhahr and Al Jalama (both in Jenin) and Sinjil (Ramallah) were blocked for vehicular traffic and remained closed through the end of the reporting period, forcing residents to rely on long detours; the closures are presumably linked to Palestinian stone-throwing at Israeli settler vehicles.
- Overall, 140 Palestinians, including 20 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Almost half of the injuries (63) were recorded near Beita and Beit Dajan (both in Nablus), Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and in the H2 area of Hebron city, in demonstrations against settlements and in solidarity with families at risk of forced eviction. In Burqa (Nablus), Kafr ad Dik (Salfit) villages, and in Hebron city, 23 people were injured in clashes with Israeli forces, following the entry of Israeli settlers into these Palestinian areas. Another 38 Palestinians, including an infant and a deaf girl, and four Israeli policemen, were injured on 28 February in and around the Old City of Jerusalem during clashes, as Israeli forces intensified their presence during the celebration of an Islamic holiday; at least 20 Palestinians were arrested. In the H2 area of Hebron city, Palestinian students reportedly threw stones at Israeli forces and the latter shot tear gas canisters at a nearby school compound; three teachers were treated for tear gas inhalation. Additional thirteen injuries were reported in stone-throwing incidents and search and arrest operations (see above). Of all Palestinian injuries, seven were by live ammunition, 75 by rubber bullets, and most of the remainder were treated for inhaling teargas.
- On 7 March, Israeli forces demolished on punitive grounds two residences in Silat al Harthiya (Jenin), displacing 12 people, including six children. The targeted structures were home to the families of two Palestinians prosecuted for killing an Israeli settler on 16 December 2021. The demolitions triggered clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian residents, during which, a Palestinian man hit with his vehicle and injured two Israeli soldiers, and was subsequently arrested. Another home was demolished in the same village in connection with the same incident on 14 February, displacing 15 people; during ensuing clashes, Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old boy.
- Additionally, the Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced owners to demolish 27 Palestinian homes and other structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, 50 people were displaced, including 22 children, and the livelihoods of more than 140 others were affected. Sixteen of the structures, including one which had been provided as humanitarian assistance, were in Area C, and eleven in East Jerusalem.
- On 1 March, the Israeli Supreme Court canceled the eviction orders that had been pending against seven Palestinian families, comprising 28 people, including nine children, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The court confirmed the families’ status as protected tenants until the land ownership is established. Overall, about 200 additional families in East Jerusalem are at risk of forced eviction in the context of court cases filed by settler organizations.
- Israeli settlers injured two Palestinians, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in 20 instances. The injuries occurred in two separate incidents, when settlers physically assaulted Palestinians grazing livestock near Al Jwaya (Hebron) and Kisan (Bethlehem). In four incidents, about 480 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were uprooted or vandalized near Israeli settlements next to Deir Jarir (Ramallah), Kafr ad Dik (Salfit) and Al Jwaya (Hebron). In Iskaka (Salfit), the tires of eleven Palestinian-owned cars were punctured and graffiti was painted on the walls of three houses, reportedly by settlers from Ariel. Four additional incidents were recorded in Salfit, Hebron and Ramallah, including breaking into a house and farmland, stealing agricultural equipment, and damaging a water well.
- People known or believed to be Palestinians injured three Israeli settlers and damaged multiple Israeli vehicles. On 3 March, an Israeli was stabbed and injured in Hizma town (Jerusalem), reportedly while shopping. Israeli forces conducted a search-and-arrest operation in the town and arrested a Palestinian suspect. Another two Israelis were injured by stone-throwing near Azzun (Qalqiliya) and Al Lubban ash Sharqiya (Nablus). Israeli-platted vehicles were damaged by stones or Molotov cocktails thrown at them in 36 incidents.
- In Gaza, on at least 35 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, reportedly to enforce access restrictions, injuring one fisherman with a rubber bullet. A Palestinian businessman from Gaza was arrested by Israeli forces at the Erez crossing. On three occasions, Israeli forces levelled lands near the fence inside Gaza, east of Deir Al Balah and Khan Younis.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.