The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Protection of Civilians Report for April 13-26, 2021

Latest development
  • On 29 April, Israel removed the restrictions on the permissible fishing zone off the Gaza coast that had been imposed since 25 April.

    Highlights from the reporting period
  • At least 166 Palestinians and 20 Israelis, including civilians and police officers, were injured in multiple violent incidents across Jerusalem city. In daily clashes, Palestinians threw stones and bottles, and Israeli forces shot tear gas canisters, sound grenades and rubber bullets. Violence was particularly intense on 22 April, after Israeli civilians marched to Damascus Gate of the Old City, chanting anti-Arab slogans and clashed with Palestinians before both groups were dispersed by Israeli forces. Scattered attacks by Palestinians and by Israeli civilians included physical assault, stone-throwing and setting cars on fire. Events extended to most West Bank governorates and to the Gaza side of the perimeter fence with Israel (see below). In Jerusalem, 208 Palestinians, including seven children, were arrested, including for reported attacks on Israelis. The events started on the first night of Ramadan, 13 April, after the Israeli authorities installed metal barriers outside the Damascus Gate, blocking access to a public area, where Palestinians traditionally gather during the month in the evenings after breaking the fast. Calm was restored on 25 April, when the Israeli authorities removed the metal barriers.
  • In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian armed groups fired an estimated 45 rockets into Israel, reportedly in the context of the Jerusalem events. Israeli air strikes and shelling across Gaza followed, causing partial damage to a farm. Israeli sources indicated that rockets were fired three nights in a row between 23 and 25 April, indirectly causing injury to four people, including a pregnant woman, who fell down while running for shelter. Rocket fire reportedly damaged a number of buildings and vehicles. On 25 April, the Israeli authorities reduced the permissible fishing zone off the southern Gaza coast from 15 to nine nautical miles, and between 26 and 28 April, they prohibited sailing at any distance from the shore.
  • Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza participated in night protests near the Israeli perimeter fence, also in the context of the Jerusalem events. Protesters burned tires, threw stones and approached the fence and Israeli forces responded with warning fire, with no casualties reported. According to Israeli sources, incendiary balloons were also launched from Gaza towards Israel, causing no damage.
  • A total of 31 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank, beyond East Jerusalem. Twenty-four of them, including a three-year-old boy, were wounded in demonstrations that took place in solidarity with Jerusalem protests in the cities of Tulkarm, Bethlehem and Al Bireh, and the villages of Deir Sharaf and Al Lubban ash Sharqiya. Four people were wounded in a weekly protest against settlement activities the village of Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya); two in a search-and-arrest operation in Aqbet Jaber refugee camp; and one in clashes with Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli forces in At Tuwani (Hebron). Of the injuries, sixteen were treated for tear gas inhalation, six were hit by rubber bullets, five were shot with live ammunition, and four were physically assaulted.
  • Israeli forces carried out 66 search-and-detention operations and detained 43 Palestinians across the West Bank. Of those, 14 operations were in Hebron and 12 in Nablus governorates.
  • In Gaza, on at least 18 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near the perimeter fence or off the coast, reportedly to enforce access restrictions. On another three occasions, Israeli forces conducted land levelling near the fence. No injuries were reported.
  • The Israeli authorities confiscated two structures in the community of Susiya (Hebron) for lack of building permits, undermining the livelihood of a family of eight. The decline in demolitions and confiscations witnessed in recent weeks is consistent with the practice in previous years during the month of Ramadan (with the exception of 2020, where about 40 structures were targeted). Israeli forces bulldozed 120 Palestinian-owned olive and almond trees as well as terraces in Al Walaja (Bethlehem), on the grounds that the area had been declared ‘state land’.
  • Beyond the incidents in Jerusalem city, perpetrators known or believed to be Israeli settlers injured a Palestinian and damaged dozens of Palestinian-owned trees across the West Bank. The injured man was working his land when he was attacked, reportedly by a settlement security guard, near Al Khader village (Bethlehem). Another man was physically assaulted but not injured in Huwwara (Nablus). About 90 olive trees were damaged in four locations, over 100 dunams of seasonal crops were vandalized in three locations, and damage was reportedly caused to a house under construction, fences, retaining walls, an agricultural gate, water-related structures, and cars. In Wadi as Seeq (Ramallah), Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders, resulting in the death of two sheep. In Mughayir al Abeed, settlers stoned Palestinians, forcing them out of the area, installed two tents and occupied a cave for seven days, before Israeli forces dismantled the tents and forced them out.
  • Also, in addition to the incidents in Jerusalem city perpetrators, known or believed to be Palestinians, caused damage to eight Israeli-plated vehicles by stones across the West Bank. The incidents were recorded by Israeli sources.


    By OCHA