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6 Palestinians killed, large-scale demolition campaign in WB: OCHA

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Noor50OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PNIC):-In recent days, Israel has intensified activities in two neighboring Palestinian communities in the hills to the east of Jerusalem, which are at risk of forcible transfer, according to OCHA’s humanitarian report which covers the period June 19-July 4.

Al-Khan Al Ahmar – Abu Al Helu area has been declared a ‘closed military zone’ and heavy construction equipment has appeared on site. On 4 July, in Abu Nuwar, the Israeli authorities demolished 19 structures, including 9 homes, displacing 51 people, including 33 children.

According to OCHA’s report, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including one child, and injured 615 others, including 23 children, during the mass demonstrations that took place on 22 and 29 June along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’.

The child fatality, an eleven-year-old boy, was shot in the head with live ammunition during a demonstration east of Khan Yunis on 29 June. This brings to 19 the number of children killed in Gaza since the start of these protests on 30 March, including one whose body is being withheld by the Israeli authorities.

During the reporting period, another two Palestinians died of wounds sustained in previous weeks’ demonstrations. Some 222 of the reported injuries were hospitalized, including 101 people injured by live ammunition.

Israeli forces shot and killed another two Palestinian children in two separate incidents in Gaza, reportedly after they breached the fence into Israel and attempted to damage military facilities. The incidents occurred on 28 June and 2 July, east of Rafah, and also resulted in the injury of three Palestinians, including two children.

On at least 18 occasions outside of the mass demonstrations, Israeli forces opened fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) at land and sea in Gaza, resulting in one injury, and forcing away farmers and fishers. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza, and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence east of Gaza and al-Qarara (Khan Yunis).

In the West Bank, 36 Palestinians, including at least six children, were injured by Israeli forces during protests and clashes. Most of the injuries (16), including to four children, were reported during clashes with Israeli forces, following the entry of Israeli settlers to various religious sites in the West Bank, triggering altercations and clashes with Palestinians.

Across the West Bank, Israeli forces conducted 137 search and arrest operations and detained 198 Palestinians, including at least 15 children. The Hebron governorate accounted for the highest portion of operations (30) and the Jerusalem governorate for most arrests (49).

Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, the Israeli Authorities demolished, seized or forced people to demolish 26 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing ten people and affecting the livelihoods of more than 160 others.

All but one of the targeted structures were in East Jerusalem, bringing the number of structures demolished in this area since the beginning of 2018 to 91, slightly above the same period in 2017. Another structure was seized in Area C, in the herding community of Umm Fagarah, which is located in Firing Zone 918, in southern Hebron (Massafer Yatta).

Additionally, on 21 June, an apartment was demolished on punitive grounds in Barta'a ash Sharqiya (Jenin), in Area B, displacing a family of three.

Israeli forces displaced 16 Palestinian families from the herding community of Humsa al Bqai’a, in the northern Jordan Valley, for 14 hours to make way for military trainings.

This is the sixth time in the past two months that this community, located in an area designated as a ‘firing zone’, was temporarily displaced. Along with demolitions and access restrictions, this practice enhances the coercive environment on the community, placing it at risk of forcible transfer.

Thirteen Israeli settler attacks were reported during the period, resulting in more than 500 Palestinian-owned trees vandalized or set on fire.

Since the beginning of 2018, OCHA has recorded the reported uprooting, burning or vandalizing of 4,175 trees by Israeli settlers, representing a 48 and 404 per cent increase, on a monthly average, compared to 2017 and 2016 respectively.

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