United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Protection of Civilians Report
Highlights from the reporting period
- Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians, including one child, and injured three others in two search-and-arrest operations, where some Palestinians opened fire or threw Molotov cocktails or stones at Israeli forces. On 15 March, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in Balata refugee camp (Nablus), according to Israeli sources, after he opened fire at Israeli forces during the arrest of a Palestinian man from the camp; two other Palestinians were injured in the incident. Initial investigations by human rights organizations indicate that the boy was not involved in the exchange of fire. On the same day, a 21-year-old Palestinian man was shot and killed and another one was injured in Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem), after Palestinians threw explosive devices at Israeli forces who raided the camp to arrest another man, according to an Israeli official cited by the Israeli media. Another Palestinian man was injured during a search-and-arrest operation in Ad Duhaishe refugee camp (Bethlehem). No Israeli injuries were reported in any of the three incidents. In total, Israeli forces carried out 95 such operations and arrested 143 Palestinians, including twelve children.
- A 23-year-old Palestinian man succumbed to wounds sustained on 2 March when Israeli forces shot him near Burqa (Nablus), during a protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. This brings to 18 the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the beginning of the year, including three Palestinian perpetrators and alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis.
- Overall, 222 Palestinians, including 37 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank, representing a 60 per cent increase compared with the previous reporting period. Most of the injuries (190) were recorded near Beita and Beit Dajan (both in Nablus), and Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), in anti-settlement demonstrations. In Nablus city, 20 people were injured following the entry of Israeli settlers to a religious site (Joseph’s Tomb), accompanied by Israeli forces; according to Palestinian local community sources, Israeli forces fired sound bombs in the air triggering clashes with local residents, who threw stones at the Israeli forces. Another eight Palestinians, including two children, were injured as Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces positioned at a checkpoint between the H1 and H2 areas of Hebron city, and the latter shot live ammunition and rubber bullets. An additional four injuries were reported in search-and-arrest operations (see above). Of all the Palestinian injuries, nine were by live ammunition, 28 by rubber bullets, and most of the remainder were treated for inhaling teargas.
- Two Palestinian stabbing attacks took place in Jerusalem. On 19 March, a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem stabbed and injured an Israeli civilian in West Jerusalem and was subsequently shot and injured by Israeli forces. On 20 March, another Palestinian man stabbed and injured two Israeli policemen in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras al ‘Amud and was subsequently arrested.
- In the Gaza Strip, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was injured by the detonation of unexploded ordnance. The boy sustained serious injuries, necessitating the amputation of one of his hands, after tampering with a munition he found on the ground.
- Israeli forces continued restricting the movement of Palestinians in several locations across the West Bank. The main entrances to the villages of Burqa and Al Mas’udiya (both in Nablus), in the vicinity of which an Israeli settler was shot and killed by Palestinians on 16 December 2021, remained closed with earth mounds and concrete blocks. These measures have forced about 8,000 Palestinians to rely on long detours, disrupting their access to livelihoods and services. On 13 and 19 March, Israeli forces blocked the main entrance to Sinjil village (Ramallah), and closed a road gate linking An Nabi Salih village (Ramallah) to Road 60, disrupting the access of around 7,000 Palestinians to livelihoods and services, and forcing long detours; these closures are presumably linked to Palestinian stone-throwing at Israeli settler vehicles. On several occasions, following Palestinian stone-throwing at Israeli forces positioned in a military tower in the H2 area of Hebron, Israeli forces prevented the access of Palestinian pedestrians and residents in and out of the Old City of Hebron, and forced shop owners to close for several hours on five consecutive days.
- The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced owners to demolish nine Palestinian homes and other structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, eleven people were displaced, including seven children, and the livelihoods of more than 70 others were affected. Eight of the structures were in Area C, and one in East Jerusalem.
- Israeli settlers injured two Palestinians, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in 20 instances. The injuries occurred when settlers physically assaulted and pepper-sprayed female Palestinians grazing livestock near Kisan (Bethlehem). In four incidents, about 155 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were uprooted or vandalized near Israeli settlements next to Al Mughayyir (Ramallah), Kafr ad Dik and Yasuf (both in Salfit). In Far’ata (Qalqiliya) and Qaryut (Nablus), the tires of twenty Palestinian-owned cars were punctured and graffiti was painted on the walls of three houses, reportedly by settlers from Gilad Farm and Shilo. Four incidents in Nablus, Salfit, and Ramallah, included breaking into a house and farmland, stealing agricultural equipment, and damaging cultivated crops. In the H2 area of Hebron, settlers stoned pedestrians and Palestinian homes, damaging at least three houses.
- People known or believed to be Palestinians injured three Israelis and damaged multiple Israeli vehicles. In addition to the Israeli civilian who was stabbed in West Jerusalem (see above), two Israeli settlers were injured by stone-throwing at vehicles traveling on West Bank roads in Hebron and Jerusalem governorates. Israeli-platted vehicles were damaged by stones or Molotov cocktails thrown at them in twelve incidents.
- In the Gaza Strip, on at least 24 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions; no injuries were reported. In two incidents, five Palestinians from Gaza, including a child, were arrested by Israeli forces reportedly while attempting to enter Israel through the fence. A Palestinian man from Gaza was arrested by Israeli forces at the Erez crossing. On two occasions, Israeli forces levelled lands near the fence inside Gaza, damaging at least 19 dunums of planted crops.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.