OCHA: Israel Increases Flying Checkpoints in West Bank , and more

12:00 Sep 12 2011 West Bank

RAMALLAH, September 12, 2011 (WAFA) – The average number of flying checkpoints the Israeli army has set up in the West Bank has significantly increased from less than 350 in previous years (July 2007 – June 2010) to close to 500 over the last 12 months (June 2010 – July 2011), Monday said the weekly report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA).

It said Jewish settlers’ attacks on Palestinians have also escalated during the period of August 24 and September 6.

The report highlighted incidents of settler attacks and other incidents that led to casualties among Palestinians or damaged their property, where 253 Palestinians were assaulted compared to 207 during the same period in 2010.

The demolition of three houses in Migron, a settlement outpost on September 5 by the Israeli authorities triggered a number of “price tag” retaliation attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian communities, including 17 incidents of vandalism which resulted in more than 120 trees being either damaged or destroyed throughout the West Bank.

In addition, there were two reported acts of arson, including the burning of the first floor of a mosque and the setting on fires in areas near houses.

The vandals left graffiti in the damaged mosque suggesting that the arson was a ‘price tag’ incident, done in response to demolitions in Migron outpost.

It said that more than half of Palestinians injured by the Israeli military during the reporting period were in incidents involving Israeli settlers, as 10 were injured in clashes that erupted in the context of protests against settlement expansion, land confiscation and access restrictions; three of those injured were children (ages: 9, 11, 13), who were physically assaulted.

In one search and arrest operation, Israeli forces caused damages in four houses and physically assaulted a 35-year-old man. During this two week reporting period, 93 search operations were conducted in the West Bank leading to the arrest of 71 Palestinians.

In another confrontation that erupted after settlers attempted to set fire to some houses, 15 Palestinians were treated for inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces.

According to OCHA report, while no demolitions of structures in Area C or East Jerusalem were recorded during the reporting period, the Israeli authorities delivered 17 stop work orders during the period, the first stage in the demolition process, affecting 17 structures located in Area C of the Qalqilia and Tubas governorates. If implemented, 53 people, including at least 17 children, will be affected, it said.

OCHA said that in 2011, the Israeli authorities have demolished 387 Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied Palestinian territory, including 140 residential structures, displacing 755 people, including 409 children. Over 95% of these demolitions have occurred in Area C.

Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70% of Area C, in areas that have been allocated for the use of Israeli settlements or the Israeli military, including areas closed by the Israeli military for training. In the remaining 30%, there are a range of other restrictions that greatly reduce the possibility of obtaining a building permit, said OCHA.

In practice, Palestinian construction is normally permitted only within the boundaries of a plan approved by the ICA, which covers less than one percent of Area C, much of which is already built up.

It said, while the Israeli army has heavily restricted Palestinian construction in Area C, it has established parallel practices for Israeli settlements that have facilitated their expansion, including approving detailed plans for almost all Israeli settlements.

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