OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report [May 24 – 31, 2021]

12:00 Jun 4 2021 Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT): Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza

OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report [May 24 – 31, 2021]
Protection of Civilians Report | 24-31 May 2021
by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Posted June 4, 2021

Reports on the 10-21 May escalation are available here. During that period, 256 Palestinians, including 66 children and 40 women, were killed in Gaza, according to OHCHR; and almost 2,000 others were injured, according to the local Ministry of Health. In Israel, 13 people were killed, including two children and six women. In the West Bank, 26 Palestinians were killed and about 6,900 were injured. The West Bank death toll includes 11 people who were killed on 14 May, marking the highest number of Palestinian fatalities in a single day since OCHA started documenting casualties in 2005.

Latest development (after the reporting period): On 2 June, a Palestinian man succumbed to his wounds, after Israeli forces shot him during clashes at Beit El checkpoint on 18 May.

Highlights from the reporting period
Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinians, bringing to 36 the number of Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank so far in 2021, including six children. On 24 May, a 17-year-old Palestinian stabbed an Israeli civilian and an Israeli soldier in East Jerusalem, and was subsequently shot and killed by an Israeli police officer. The next day, Israeli undercover forces shot another Palestinian during an operation near Al Amari refugee camp (Ramallah). On 28 May, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian during a protest against the establishment of a new Israeli settlement outpost near the village of Beita (Nablus).

Overall, Israeli forces wounded 100 Palestinians across the West Bank. At least 69 of them were injured during the abovementioned demonstration in Beita, 15 in a separate protest against settlement expansion near the village of Ni’lin (Ramallah), ten in a protest against the closure of the main entrance to Al Mughayyir village (Ramallah) by Israeli forces, and six in other incidents across the West Bank. Overall, 50 people were treated after inhaling tear gas, 18 were shot by rubber bullets, 16 were hit by live ammunition, and 16 others were physically assaulted or hit by tear gas canisters.
In Gaza, on 24 and 26 May, two Palestinian men died of wounds sustained during the escalation.

Israeli forces carried out 115 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 145 Palestinians across the West Bank. The majority of the operations were conducted in the Jerusalem governorate, mostly in East Jerusalem. Since unrest and violence increased in East Jerusalem in mid-April, Israeli forces have conducted 99 search-and-arrest operations in the city, detaining 97 Palestinians, including six journalists.

The Israeli authorities continued restricting the access to Al Ja’ouni area of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Since 3 May, access to the area is permitted only for ambulances, UN vehicles and Palestinian residents who must undergo strict ID checks. These restrictions follow protests against an Israeli plan to evict Palestinians families from their homes in the neighbourhood, due to case courts filed by Israeli settler groups, and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces.

On 31 May, the Israeli authorities confiscated five structures in the communities of Umm Zaitunah and Al Buweib in Hebron for lack of building permits, displacing nine people, including four children, and undermining the livelihoods of 17 others. The structures included three residential structures and two livelihood structures. This follows a reduction in demolitions during Ramadan and the May escalation.

People known or believed to be Israeli settlers injured five Palestinians and damaged dozens of Palestinian-owned trees. On 24 May, a guard in the Israeli settlement of Dolev (Ramallah) shot and injured a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in unclear circumstances. In other incidents, settlers in Hebron city and in Deir Jarir (Ramallah) pepper-sprayed three Palestinians, including a boy and an elderly man, and other settlers physically assaulted a farmer who was working his land in Qaqiliya. Another farmer was physically assaulted near Ar Rihiya village (Hebron), where crops belonging to Palestinians were uprooted and at least 100 olive trees were set on fire. Also, around 70 trees were damaged in Sinjil (Ramallah. Palestinians reported that settlers stole over 100 bales of hay in Burin (Nablus) and took over a water cistern in Kisan (Bethlehem).

Stone throwers known or believed to be Palestinians injured one Israeli woman while she was driving inside the West Bank and damaged 17 Israeli-plated cars, according to Israeli sources.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing for goods remains open for the entry of specific basic commodities, including fodder, medical supplies, and supplies and fuel for the private sector and UNRWA. No goods have been authorized to leave Gaza through the crossing since 10 May. The Erez Crossing remains closed for most Palestinians in Gaza. Only a very limited number of urgent medical referrals have been allowed to exit through Erez. Since 25 May, fishing has resumed off the Gaza coast, but only for six nautical miles.

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