Protection of Civilians Report | 28 July – 10 August 2020
12-13 August: Following the continued launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza, which has resulted in the burning of farmland in southern Israel, the Israeli authorities halted the entry of most goods to Gaza, including fuel, reduced the permissible fishing area along Gaza’s coast, and attacked several military positions.
- On 7 August, a 23-year-old Palestinian woman was shot and killed at her home during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Jenin City. The clashes occurred during a search and arrest operation, during which Palestinian youths threw stones and allegedly threw home-made explosives at Israeli forces, which responded by shooting tear gas canisters. The woman was hit by a live bullet while closing the window of her home, reportedly to prevent the entry of tear gas. The ambulance that evacuated the woman to the hospital was also hit by live bullets. Palestinian sources attributed the fatal shooting to Israeli forces. According to the Israeli military, as cited by the media, the Israeli force involved in the incident denied the use of live ammunition. The clashes ended without injuries or arrests.
- 100 Palestinians, including 15 children, were injured in various clashes across the West Bank. The largest incident, which accounted for 91 of the injuries, took place during a protest held on 7 August in Turmus’ayya village (Ramallah) against land confiscation and settlement expansion. Another eight injuries were recorded during four search and arrest operations, out of a total of 117 such operations conducted during the reporting period. One additional Palestinian was injured during the weekly demonstrations in Kufur Qaddoum (Qalqilia). Four of this period’s injuries were by live ammunition, 11 by rubber-coated steal bullets and 13 by physical assault, while the rest were treated for tear gas inhalation. Additionally, a soldier was hit by a stone and injured in the H1 area of Hebron City.
- Since 5 August, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been launching dozens of incendiary balloons every day, resulting in the burning of extensive farm land in southern Israel. This practice had been discontinued following the suspension of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests in December 2019. The Israeli Nature and Parks Authority reported the burning of at least 1,000 dunams of land, as of 10 August. Following these acts, the Israeli air force targeted several military sites in Gaza, which resulted in no casualties.
- On 2 August, a Palestinian armed group fired a rocket towards southern Israel, following which Israeli air force attacked an armed group’s position and agricultural land. Limited property damage was reported on both sides.
- On at least 27 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence around Gaza, and off its coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, resulting in no injuries or damage to property.
- In the West Bank, 43 structures were demolished or seized for the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 108 Palestinians and otherwise affecting around 240 others. Thirty-three of the targeted structures were in Area C, including 13 in four Palestinian Bedouin communities located within or next to an area planned for the expansion of the Ma’ale Adummim settlement (the E1 area). Also in Area C, 14 people were displaced in Susiya village (South Hebron) after the donor-funded tent where they lived was demolished. Four more structures were targeted in Khallet Sakariya (Bethlehem) and Fraseen (Jenin) on the basis of the Military Order 1797, which allows for demolitions within 96 hours of the issuance of a ‘removal order’. In Fraseen, 18 structures were also served with stop-work and removal orders. The other ten structures demolished were in East Jerusalem, including five houses demolished by their owners following the issuance of demolitions orders.
- Three Palestinians were injured, and Palestinian-owned property vandalized, by assailants believed to be settlers. Three of the incidents were reportedly perpetrated by settlers from the Adei Ad unauthorized settlement outpost in northeast Ramallah: a physical assault of two farmers; a ramming attack which killed eight sheep and injured 12; and the setting on fire of 30 grape vines. During the latter incident, a settler opened fire at Palestinians who tried to put out the fire, forcing them to leave; no injuries were reported. Nearby, next to the Shilo settlement, another 15 sheep were killed after the grazing grass was reportedly poisoned. In Kafr ad Dik and Yasuf (Salfit), 15 olive trees were vandalized, and fences and steel poles were stolen. In Fara’ata (Qalqilia), two vehicles were set on fire and Hebrew graffiti was sprayed on the walls some village’s homes.
- One Israeli woman was injured and six vehicles were damaged as a result of stone throwing by Palestinians at Israeli-plated vehicles driving on West Bank roads, according to Israeli sources.