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Five Palestinians were killed and two injured

February 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

During the past two weeks, five Palestinians were killed and two injured, as violence escalates in Gaza; one Palestinian was killed and 50 injured in the West Bank, over half on one day. Settler violence continued in the West Bank. Nearly 60 percent of the Palestinian population denied access to Friday prayers in East Jerusalem, and two comprehensive closures were imposed on the West Bank. Gaza tunnels continued to claim lives; four were killed and 18 injured. Power cuts were slightly reduced, but scheduled blackouts remained in place in Gaza. Ad hoc opening of the Rafah Crossing allowed limited access for people.

Compared to relatively low numbers of Palestinian injuries in recent weeks, there was an exceptionally high number of injuries during the two week period covered by this report. Israeli forces shot and killed one Palestinian and injured 50 Palestinians in various incidents throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, compared to one death and ten injuries during the previous two weeks. On 22 September, Israeli forces opened fire on a Palestinian man from Sur Bahir village (Jerusalem) at a gas station near the Israeli settlement of Bitar Illit (Bethlehem); the man was hit with at least 20 bullets. Circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear and Israeli authorities are investigating.

The majority of the 50 injuries during the period occurred on the same day; on 27 September, 16 Palestinians were wounded in clashes that erupted in Al Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, when Palestinians attempted to prevent a group of Israelis, protected by Israeli security forces, from entering. Four of the injuries resulted from rubber the remaining six by gas inhalation requiring medical treatment. According to the Israeli media, 18 Israeli policemen were injured. An additional 22 Palestinians were injured in related clashes that broke out the same evening between Israeli forces and Palestinian protestors in Al ‘Isawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

The remaining 12 injuries included four Palestinians wounded during the weekly anti-Barrier demonstrations that took place in the Ni’lin and Bil’in villages (Ramallah), four at checkpoints, and another four during search and arrest operations. Three Israeli border police were also injured during the anti‐Barrier demonstration in Ni’lin.

During the period, Israeli forces conducted a total of 161 search and arrest operations throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In one search and arrest operation that took place in the Old City of Jerusalem on 29 September, following the clashes at the Al Aqsa mosque compound, 50 Palestinians were arrested.