Published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Posted on 27 November 2020
Protection of Civilians Report | 3-23 November 2020

Latest development (outside the reporting period)

  • On 25 November, citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished 11 Palestinian-owned structures in the Massafer Yatta area of southern Hebron. These included homes, livelihood-related structures and water and sanitation facilities, some of which had been previously provided as humanitarian assistance. Twenty-five people were displaced and over 700 were otherwise affected. All but one of the seven communities targeted are located in an area designated closed for military training, and are at risk of a forcible transfer.

This report exceptionally covers three weeks; the next issue will be released on 10 December, covering the normal two-week period.

Highlights from the reporting period

  • During the reporting period (3-23 November), a total of 129 structures were demolished, or seized, due to a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 100 people and otherwise affecting at least 200. The largest incident took place on 3 November in Humsa Al Bqai’a, where 83 structures were destroyed, displacing 73 people, including 41 children. Thirty more structures were demolished in 12 other Area C communities. The remaining 16 took place in East Jerusalem, where demolitions have resumed after a three-week suspension, following an announcement by the Israeli authorities on 1 October that, due to the pandemic, they would stop the demolition of inhabited residential buildings in the city. More structures have been demolished or seized so far in 2020, than in any complete year since OCHA began systematically documenting this practice in 2009, with the exception of 2016.
  • On 4 November, Israeli forces shot and killed an off-duty member of the Palestinian security forces at a checkpoint south of Nablus city, reportedly after he opened fire at soldiers. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, soldiers prevented their medical teams from reaching the man, and the body is still being withheld by the Israeli authorities. Another Palestinian was shot and injured by Israeli forces on 8 November near Al Fawwar refugee camp (Hebron), reportedly after attempting to stab soldiers.
  • Fifty-five Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Eighteen were injured in the context of three search-and-arrest operations in Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem) and Ramallah city. Another 17 were injured in protests against access restrictions and settlement activities in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), and Ras at Tin (Ramallah). Five Palestinians were injured during a commemoration for the death of the late Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, at the DCO checkpoint (Ramallah). Three men were physically assaulted at a flying checkpoint near Beit Fajjar (Bethlehem). The remaining injuries were recorded during other clashes, or while they were trying to enter Israel through breaches in the Barrier.
  • Israeli forces carried out 230 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 227 Palestinians across the West Bank. The largest number of operations were recorded in East Jerusalem (61), and the Hebron governorate (50).
  • Five incidents were reported, resulting in damage to olive trees or involving the theft of produce by people believed to be Israeli settlers. Three of the incidents entailed the vandalising of 64 olive trees near the villages of Jalud (Nablus), Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) and Al Khadr (Bethlehem). The other two involved the stealing of the produce of about 1,000 olive trees near Sa’ir (Hebron) and of ten trees in Burin (Nablus), where harvesting tools were also taken. Since the start of the olive harvest on 7 October, at least 35 attacks by people known, or believed, to be Israeli settlers resulted in injuries among Palestinians, or in damage to trees or the theft of produce.
  • Attacks by people believed to be Israeli settlers outside of the olive harvest, resulted in additional Palestinian injuries or damage to property. Four Palestinians were injured when cars in which they were travelling crashed, following stone throwing near Silat adh Dhahr (Jenin). In the H2 area of Hebron, a 10-year-old Palestinian was stoned, a 12-year-old Palestinian was physically assaulted, and building materials and a vehicle were vandalized, in separate incidents. Some 20 sheep were stolen from the Bedouin community of East Tayba (Ramallah) and another goat taken near As Sawiya (Nablus). According to farmers from Turmus’ayya (Ramallah), settlers vandalized a water irrigation system and stole agricultural equipment in their village, while farmers in Far’ata (Qalqiliya) reported that settlers stole fences surrounding their land. Settlers also stoned houses in Burqa (Nablus) and At Tuwani (Hebron), damaging four of them, and Palestinian cars travelling in Nablus, damaging one; and levelled 17 dunums of Palestinian-owned farmland in ‘Urif (Nablus). In nearby Jalud, settlers erected a fence, a tent and three water tanks on privately-owned Palestinian land.
  • On at least 20 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire near Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza, and off its coast, apparently to enforce access restrictions. As a result, one fisherman was injured. On three occasions, Israeli bulldozers levelled land inside Gaza.
  • Two Palestinians, aged 14 and 16, were injured by explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Rafah and Deir al Balah (Gaza). Since the beginning of the year, two Palestinians, a child and an adult, have been killed, and eight others injured, including five children, by unexploded devices.
  • On 15 and 21 November, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired three rockets at Israel, one of which caused damage to a warehouse in Ashkelon. In both cases, Israeli air strikes followed, hitting military sites, open areas and farmlands in Gaza, and resulting in damage to five dunums of greenhouses in Khan Younis.
  • According to Israeli sources, assailants, believed to be Palestinians, injured three Israelis and damaged 19 Israeli-plated vehicles travelling inside the West Bank, with stones or Molotov cocktails.