Two Palestinians, including a child, were killed, and 2 others succumbed to their injuries, while 42 other Palestinians, including 9 children, were wounded. Meanwhile, dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in attacks by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
Details are as follows:
On 17 August 2023, Mostafa Akram Qumbu’a (29), member of the Palestinian armed groups, was killed after being shot with several live bullets in his head, chest and abdomen in an exchange of fire with IOF who raided a house, where Qumbu’a was fortified in Jenin. IOF blew up part of the house, causing damage to it and to the bakery below. During the incursion, 2 Palestinians, including a 34-year-old woman working in the allied medical professions at the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH), were injured. The woman was shot by IOF with 2 live bullets in her abdomen and chest while heading to work. Also, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians, including Mostafa Qumbu’s brother.
On the same day, medical sources at Hadassah Medical Center in West Jerusalem announced the death of Ahmed Fadel Abu Isninah (31), succumbing to a pervious rubber bullet injury in his left eye during clashes that broke out following IOF’s raid into al-Aqsa Mosque on 07 May 2021. At that time, IOF assaulted Palestinian worshipers performing al-Taraweeh prayer; as a result, Isninah sustained skull fractures and lost his left eye. Over the past two years, he had suffered from injury complications, including severe headaches. In early July, Ahmed’s health condition deteriorated, so he was taken to the hospital, where it turned out that he had an infection in his injured eye, affecting his brain and vital organs. As a result, Ahmed was put on a respirator at Hadassah Medical Center until medical sources pronounced him dead, succumbing to his injury.
On 19 August 2023, medical sources at an Najah National University Hospital in Nablus announced the death of Mohammed Naser Salem Dawoud (20), member of the Palestinian armed groups from Balata refugee camp, after being shot by IOF with several bullets in his chest during the latter’s incursion into eastern Nablus on 15 August 2023.
On 22 August 2023, Othman ‘Atif Abu Kharaj (17) was killed by IOF with 2 bullets in the back of his head and arm when the soldiers were only 100 meters away, claiming that he tried to throw a homemade bomb at IOF during their incursion into Zababdeh village in Jenin. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested a Palestinian.
Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into cities and villages, or suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians.
On 17 August 2023, an 18-year-old boy was injured by glass shrapnel scattered after IOF suddenly and unjustifiably opened fire at his father’s Citroen Tender car whom he was driving 10 meters away from his house. As a result, the car, which was searched by IOF, sustained damage.
On the same day, 4 Palestinians, including journalist Ahmed al-Safadi, sustained injuries and bruises after being detained and beaten by IOF near King Faisal Gate leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque. The arrestees were later released, while the journalist was denied access to al-Aqsa Mosque for a month.
On 18 August 2023, 7 Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes that accompanied IOF’s suppression of a weekly peaceful protest at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village in Qalqilya. Also, a person with a mental disorder was shot with a live bullet in his right leg and others suffocated after IOF fired live bullets and teargas canisters near the military checkpoint established in southern Qalqilya, under the pretext of being thrown with stones.
Also, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet in his thigh in clashes with IOF during their incursion into Qaryut village in Nablus.
On the same day, a 14-year-old child was injured with 2 live bullets, one hit his head, after IOF opened fire near his house in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalen. IOF took him in critical condition to Hadassah Medical Center in West Jerusalem for treatment. IOF claimed they opened fire at him after suspecting that he tried to throw a Molotov Cocktail at them. IOF extended his arrest while receiving his treatment at the hospital.
Also, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians; one of them was shot with a live bullet in his chest, after IOF opened fire at a vehicle carrying them in Anata village in occupied East Jerusalem. IOF claimed that the vehicle was attempting to carry out a run-over attack.
On 20 August 2023, 3 Palestinians were injured, one in serious condition, after IOF opened fire during their incursion into Tulkarm and its refugee camp. Also, the camp’s main power transformer sustained damage, completely cutting the electricity in the camp for hours.
On 21 August 2023, 7 Palestinians were injured, one in critical condition, after IOF opened fire during their incursion into Beita village in Nablus. This happened after an Israeli Special Unit sneaked into the village and cordoned off a house belonging to a Palestinian doctor and arrested him before their withdrawal. Afterwards, IOF’s backups arrived amid shooting and clashes with Palestinians in the area. When IOF were chasing the Palestinian protestors, an Israeli soldier directly and unjustifiably opened fire from a distance of 100 meters at a person who turned around to the opposite direction, wounding him in the back of his head despite posing no threat to soldiers’ lives. The wounded person was instantly taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where his health condition was deemed critical.
On the same day, 18 Palestinians, including 8 children, a paramedic, and a journalist, were injured after IOF stationed along the barbed-wire border fence in eastern Gaza City fired live and rubber-coated bullets and teargas canisters at a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinians in Malaka area, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza, to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Al-Aqsa Mosque arson.
On 23 August 2023, a fisherman was shot with a rubber-coated bullet in his right thigh after Israeli gunboats stationed off northwestern Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.
In the Gaza Strip, 2 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, while 7 shootings were reported on fishing boats off Rafah and Beit Lahia shores.
So far in 2023, IOF attacks have killed 216 Palestinians, including 106 civilians; amongst them 39 children, 6 women and a Palestinian with disability, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 8 children, 9 killed by settlers, and two died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 1077 Palestinians, including 161 children, 31 women and 16 journalists, were injured in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Land Razing, Demolitions, Notices, and Settlement
On 17 August 2023, The District Planning and Building Committee at the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem approved a new plan to expand Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev settlements, which are established on the Palestinian lands of northeastern East Jerusalem and build 2430 new settlement units. The Committee also approved building two hotels with 500 rooms in Jabal Al-Mukaber, southeast of the city.
On the same day, the Israeli authorities dismantled a 60-sqm barrack built of tinplate in Homsa al-Tahta village in central Jordan Valley under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C).
On 17 August 2023, IOF demolished the Badayat ‘Ein Samia Co-Ed Elementary School “Ras Al-Teen” in ‘Ein Samia area, east of Kafr Malik village in Ramallah. The 500-sqm school is made of prefabricated tinplated rooms and includes 4 classrooms and 2 external facilities that were dismantled and confiscated by IOF.
On 19 August 2023, IOF confiscated a JCB excavator in Al-Musafer area in Hebron, claiming that the area is classified as a firing zone and civilians are denied entry.
On 21 August 2023, IOF demolished a 150-sqm under-construction residential house, and a 3-dunum brick factory, leveled a plot of land, and demolished a water well and a 15-sqm container of equipment in Bidou village in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
On the same day, IOF demolished two under-construction houses in Al-Dyouk al-Tahta, west of Jericho, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C).
Since the beginning of 2023, IOF have made 136 families homeless, a total of 796 persons, including 174 women and 352 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 140 houses; 34 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 14 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 103 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Settler-attacks and Retaliatory Acts
On 18 August 2023, settlers, under IOF’s protection, stole a fence, expelled volunteers, and international solidarity activists from Palestinians’ lands in Farkha village, southwest of Salfit, and prevented them from ploughing the land, claiming that the area is classified as Area (C).
On 22 August 2023, settlers attacked a Palestinian vehicle on the main Jenin-Nablus Road and smashed its front and rear windows before the driver could flee towards Tal village.
On 23 August 2023, a settler from the “Susiya” settlement, which is established on the Palestinians’ lands confiscated from southern Hebron, raided Susya, roamed among Palestinians’ residential tents, and opened fire in the air as the Palestinians were trying to confront him to force him out of their homes.
Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 299 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others were injured; most of them due to being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.
Freedom of Journalism
On 21 August 2023, IOF detained three journalists while covering the closure of the southern Hebron entrance and forced them to delete videos of the incident. The journalists were identified as: Mamoun Isma’il Wazouz, a photographer for Anadolu Agency, Yusri Mahmoud al-Jamal, photographer at Reuters, and Moussa ‘Issa Al-Qawasmeh, photographer at Reuters.
On 22 August 2023, the Israeli soldiers detained journalists Luay Mehbash ‘Amr, a freelance journalist, and ‘Abdul-Mohsen Tayseer Shalaldeh, a photographer for J Media Agency, near Beit ‘Einoun Road, east of Hebron, and deleted what they captured at the checkpoint, ordering them to leave under threat.
Israeli Closure, Restrictions on Freedom of Movement, and Collective Punishment
Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 17-year closure on the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continue to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 196 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested several Palestinians at those checkpoints.
On 18 August 2023, IOF tightened their military measures in the vicinity of Huwara village and the nearby ‘Aqraba, Osrin, Beita and Yatma villages in Nablus, and closed some sub roads with sand berms. They established checkpoints at the entrances to those villages in order to search the vehicles coming in and out as part of collective punishment measures following a shooting attack that killed settlers in Huwara.
On 21 August 2023, IOF closed all Hebron entrances connecting the bypass roads, established military checkpoints at all the main and sub entrances to the City (around 27 entrances and roads) that lead to nearby villages and towns, and prevented Palestinians to pass whether by vehicles or on foot for 12 hours. At some military checkpoints, IOF fired stun grenades and teargas canisters at Palestinians who were stuck there as many of them suffocated. This came as part of collective punishment measures following a shooting attack that killed a female settler in eastern Hebron.
This week, IOF re-closed many checkpoints and intersections in East Jerusalem and Bethlehem multiple times, and tightened restrictions at them for several hours before reopening them later.
So far in 2023, IOF have established 4,019 temporary military checkpoints and arrested dozens of Palestinians at those checkpoints.