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UN Report Highlights Increase in Israeli Violence Against Palestinians in 2019

UN Report Highlights Increase in Israeli Violence Against Palestinians in 2019

Sunday, 17 February, 2019 - 12:45
An Israeli soldier guards settlers in Hebron city on Saturday, February 16, 2019. (AFP)
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat
A report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories highlighted an increase in the number off attacks by the Israeli army and settlers against Palestinian civilians with the beginning of 2019.

The report, titled “Protection of Civilians,” covers the period between January 20 and February 11, 2019. It said two Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces during the ‘Great March of Return’ protests in the Gaza Strip, another two Palestinians died of wounds sustained previously and 530 were injured.

According to human rights groups, both incidents occurred between 60-250 meters from the fence, and the two boys posed no threat to Israeli forces. These bring the number of Palestinian fatalities sustained during the Gaza protests since March 2018 to 263, including 49 children.

On at least 40 occasions, aside from the protests, Israeli forces opened warning fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea in Gaza, the report elaborated.

It added that one Palestinian was injured in one of the incidents. Additionally, five Palestinian boys were detained, reportedly as they were attempting to infiltrate into Israel.

On three other occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-leveling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence.

In the West Bank, the report added, two Palestinians, including a girl, were shot and killed, and one boy was injured by Israeli forces in two alleged attacks near Israeli checkpoints.

“Since the start of 2019, three Palestinians, including one child, have been killed by Israeli forces in attacks or alleged attacks carried out in the West Bank.”

It noted that 35 Palestinians, including at least 11 children, were injured by Israeli forces during protests and clashes in the same period.

Regarding the checkpoints in the West Bank, it said Israeli forces deployed at least 68 ‘flying’ ad-hoc checkpoints and, on at least 80 occasions, staffed and carried out checks at ‘partial checkpoints’ (checkpoints not regularly staffed), increasing delays and traveling time and disrupting the access of people to services and livelihoods. This represents a 110 percent increase compared to the weekly average in 2018.

In addition, 15 structures were demolished or seized in East Jerusalem and Area C on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 39 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of some 70 others.

“Overall, 48 structures have been demolished or seized by Israel in the West Bank since the start of 2019,” according to the report.

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