On 25 August, a 32-year-old Palestinian man succumbed to wounds he sustained from Israeli gunfire during a demonstration held on 21 August, east of Gaza city.
Highlights from the reporting period
In the West Bank, five Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during search-and-arrest operations. During a nighttime operation in the Jenin refugee camp on 15 August, Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinians, aged between 19 and 21. A fifth Palestinian sustained serious wounds. During the operation, there was an armed clash between Palestinians and an Israeli undercover unit, who entered the camp to arrest a Palestinian, reportedly affiliated with Hamas. Another Palestinian, aged 25, died on 11 August of wounds he sustained during another search-and-arrest operation in Jenin city on 3 August. Fifty-five (55) Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank this year, all by live ammunition.
Overall, Israeli forces injured 221 Palestinians across the West Bank. Of the total injured, 152 people were wounded during ongoing protests against settlement activity near Beita, 19 in Beit Dajan (both in Nablus), and ten in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya). Thirty-two others were injured in clashes with Israeli forces that erupted during a demolition incident (see below) in Battir (Bethlehem). Two school children were injured in clashes that erupted with Israeli forces in the vicinity of a school in Tayasir community (Tubas), and the remaining in other locations in the West Bank. Of those injured, three Palestinians were shot with live ammunition, 28 with rubber bullets, and the rest were mainly treated for tear gas inhalation or physical assault. In addition to the 221 injured directly by Israeli forces, 23 were injured in Beita, either while running away from Israeli forces or in circumstances that could not be verified.
Israeli forces carried out 92 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 104 Palestinians across the West Bank. Most of the operations took place in the Jerusalem and Hebron governorates. Since 23 August, Israeli forces have closed the main entrance of Sinjil village in Ramallah with earth mounds, in addition to a nearby road, forcing local Palestinians to rely on long detours, disrupting their access to services and livelihoods. Around 7,000 Palestinian residents have been affected by the closure.
On 16 August, Palestinian armed groups launched two rockets from Gaza towards southern Israel, the first launched since the end of May. One of the rockets was intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome defence system and the other fell short inside Gaza. No injuries or damage to property was reported. On 23 August, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza launched a number of incendiary balloons, which caused several fires in Israel. Israeli military jets carried out a series of strikes against military positions in Gaza, which reportedly drew heavy machine-gun fire from Palestinian armed groups, after which Israeli air forces carried out further airstrikes. No injuries or damage was reported.
On 21 August, hundreds of people held a mass demonstration on the Gaza side of Israel’s perimeter fence that encloses the Gaza Strip. During the protest, people hurled stones and other objects towards Israeli forces and the latter fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters. The Ministry of Health in Gaza documented 53 Palestinian injuries, including 25 children, with 46 of those injured by live ammunition. One Israeli soldier was seriously wounded when he was shot by a Palestinian demonstrator. Afterwards, Israeli forces carried out a series of airstrikes on a number of positions, belonging to Palestinian armed groups in Gaza. No injuries were reported.
Also in Gaza, on at least 11 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near the perimeter fence and off the coast, ostensibly to enforce access restrictions. Israeli military bulldozers conducted a land-levelling operation inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence, east of Al Maghazi refugee camp in the Middle Area. In a separate incident, Egyptian naval forces opened fire towards Palestinian boats off the coast of Rafah, injuring a fisherman. In two separate incidents, five children were injured while handling explosive remnants of war in Gaza city. On 23 August, Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing in both directions until further notice. The reason behind this unscheduled closure was not announced.
Israeli authorities demolished, seized, or forced owners’ to demolish, a total of 31 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 32 people, including 14 children, and affecting the livelihoods of around 680 other people. A one-story building was also demolished by its owners, displacing four families (15 people), in the Shu’fat neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. This followed a final decision by the Israeli Supreme Court, which ruled that settlers owned the land on which the houses were built, giving the families 20 days to evacuate their houses. This is disputed by the Palestinian owners who say that they bought the land in 1952. Also, on 10 August, an agricultural road was levelled by the Israeli authorities in Battir village (Bethlehem), affecting access to land for around 100 families (500 people). In addition, around 100 children were affected by the demolition of an extension to a building planned to be used as a kindergarten in the Beit Safafa neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. At least eight families were forced to evacuate their residence on 22 August for a period of ten days to make way for Israeli military trainings in the Ibziq area (Tubas). Four more incidents of temporary evacuation were recorded on the same grounds in two other communities in Tubas.
Israeli settlers injured at least six Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, in the West Bank. In one incident on 17 August, settlers struck a boy with their vehicle near Silat adh Dhahr village (Jenin), abducted him to the previously-evacuated Israeli settlement Homesh, tied him to a tree and beat him until he lost consciousness. An Israeli military jeep found the boy two hours later and handed him over to an ambulance. The boy was taken to hospital where he was treated for contusions and burns. Five other Palestinians were stoned or physically assaulted, including a woman in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, a driver in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, and three farmers in ‘Urif (Nablus). Also, people known or believed to be Israeli settlers vandalized or stole at least 30 Palestinian-owned olive trees and saplings. In one raid into ‘Asira al Qibliya in Nablus, settlers stoned houses and set fire to farmland, causing damage. A number of incidents involving settlers and local Palestinians were recorded in Khirbet Zanuta (Hebron), in which one Palestinian farmer was detained by Israel security forces.
People known or believed to be Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles travelling on West Bank roads, injuring three settlers. Also, according to Israeli sources, stone-throwing damaged at least 22 Israeli-plated cars.