In the last two weeks of March, the Israeli occupation forces killed one Palestinian man, injured 63 others, demolished 26 Palestinian-owned structure displacing 34 people, and detained 115 people, including five children, in 128 search-and-arrest raids, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.
It said in its biweekly Protection of Civilians report covering the period between 16 and 29 March that on 19 March Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 45-year-old Palestinian man during a weekly protest in Beit Dajan village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, bringing to three the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of the year.
In addition, Israeli soldiers injured 63 Palestinians across the West Bank, 43 of them in the Kufr Aqab neighborhood of East Jerusalem and 10 in Beit Dajan village, in confrontations during army raids of these and other areas of the occupied territories. Most of the injuries were for teargas inhalation, 16 hit by rubber bullets, and seven were physically assaulted, or hit by a tear gas canister.
Israeli forces carried out 128 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 115 Palestinians, including five children, across the West Bank during the two-week reporting period, said OCHA. The Ramallah governorate recorded the highest number of operations (27), followed by Tulkarm (21) and Hebron (18). In one operation in Beit Kahil (Hebron), 21 Palestinians were arrested.
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished or seized 26 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, displacing 34 people, of whom 15 were children, and otherwise affecting about 40 others.
Twenty-two structures were targeted on 17 March in four communities in Area C, including eight tents seized in Khirbet Tana near Nablus, displacing 18 people; and 11 uninhabited houses demolished in al-Nuweima al-Fauqa Bedouin community near Jericho, affecting 21 people. Four of the structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including three by their owners after being pressured to do so by the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem to avoid paying hefty fines and demolition costs if the municipality carries out the demolition, displacing 12 people.
The entry of Palestinians to the Israeli-army controlled closed area of H2 in Hebron city in the south of the West Bank, where they live, was delayed for long periods due to the re-introduction of heavy restrictions by Israeli forces at the checkpoint leading to Tel Rumeida neighborhood. In this context, forces have required Palestinian residents to pass through metal detectors, which has not been a requirement for several years, said OCHA.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers injured two Palestinians and damaged a few hundreds of Palestinian-owned trees in the two-week reporting period. Both Palestinians were physically assaulted, one near Susiya community in the Hebron district, and the other while working his land near al-Khader town in Bethlehem.
Residents in the villages of Jalud, Khirbet Sarra and Tell in Nablus, and Ras Karkar and Deir Nidham in Ramallah, reported that about 300 trees and saplings had been vandalized. In Beit Iksa near Jerusalem and Kafr al-Dik in Salfit, settlers vandalized a house, three agricultural structures and three vehicles. In al-Baq’a area in Hebron, settlers started bulldozing privately-owned Palestinian land. Settlers blocked off a spring near Tubas, preventing Palestinian herders from accessing it. Settlers also erected tents on land belonging to residents of Tuqu’ and Kisan villages near Bethlehem; in Kisan, they eventually removed the tents, and in Tuqu’ the Israeli authorities ordered them to remove them by 4 April.