OPT: Protection of civilians – OCHA Weekly report (20-26 June 2007)

Protection of Civilians Weekly Report

20 – 26 June 2007

Of note this week

Gaza Strip:

· Inter-factional fighting between Fatah and Hamas forces subsided during the reporting period. However, PA security forces continued to arrest allegedly Hamas-affiliated persons (22 arrests during the reporting period) and there were two incidents of attacks on properties.

· Most casualties and injuries were due to incidents related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Five Palestinians, including one Islamic Jihad member, were killed and nine others were injured during IDF military operations in the Gaza Strip. The injured include a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who was injured by shrapnel from a Palestinian mortar shell.

· There were two IDF incursions into the Gaza Strip and two rockets fired by IAF helicopters. In addition, the IDF continued conducting a levelling and excavating operation 800 meters into Palestinian territory near the Palestinian DCO.

· 24 homemade rockets were fired from Gaza Strip towards Israel, of which at least seven were fired from the area east of Rafah (five towards Sufa crossing and two towards Kerem Shalom crossing). Al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for the Sufa attack.

· Rafah and Karni crossings were closed this week, increasing concerns of shortage of essential and non-essential food commodities on the Gaza Strip markets. Humanitarian assistance entered Gaza through Kerem Shalom and Sufa and critical medical cases with special coordination arrangements exited through Erez.

· On 20 and 21 June, it was reported that all Palestinians who were trying to leave Gaza to go to the West Bank crossed through Erez crossing. In addition, foreign nationals, including 180 Ukrainian and Russian women married to Palestinians and their children evacuated Gaza and crossed through Erez into Israel.

· The BBC’s Gaza based correspondent, Alan Johnston, has been missing for 107 days after being abducted on 12 March 2007. This week, Johnston’s abductors released a video of him in which he was wearing an explosives vest. They also publicly called for the release of a number of Muslim prisoners held in British and Jordanian jails. A taped recording of the IDF soldier held in captivity in Gaza was also released.

West Bank:

· The IDF killed three Palestinians (Jenin and Hebron), injured eight (Jenin, Ramallah and Hebron), and arrested/detained 87 Palestinians throughout the West Bank. Israeli settlers injured one Palestinian in the H2 area of Hebron City (Hebron).

· West Bank Palestinian workers and others entering into East Jerusalem and Israel are forced to wait on long lines for hours in the early morning at crossings in the Barrier and checkpoints. There are no special facilities for physically challenged persons. This week women at Gilo checkpoint were subjected to humiliating strip searches.

· Throughout the week, Palestinian workers from Hebron holding valid permits to work in Israel were obliged to stay overnight in front of the Meitar checkpoint, located south of Adh Dhahiriya (Hebron), in order to reach their workplaces inside Israel.

· There were 91 flying checkpoints and 87 IDF search campaigns.


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