TEN Palestinians, including three children, were killed and 882 others have been injured by Israeli forces at the Gaza border during the past two weeks, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).
Friday, 28th September, recorded the highest fatality toll in a single day (seven) since 14th May 2018, prompting a call by the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Jamie McGoldrick, for ‘Israel, Hamas and all other actors with the ability to influence the situation, to take action now to prevent further deterioration and loss of life.’
Two of the child fatalities, boys aged 11 and 15, were shot in the head and chest with live ammunition, bringing to 39 the number of children killed in Gaza since the start of the protests on 30th March.
Of the people injured on 28th September and 5th October, 402 were hospitalised, including 216 people (53 per cent) hit by live ammunition; the rest were treated in the field, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
According to Israeli sources, a number of explosive devices were thrown at Israeli forces during the protests, none of which resulted in Israeli injuries. In addition, one Palestinian child was killed and 189 injured in clashes with Israeli forces during the reporting period, in other activities taking place on an almost daily basis in the context of the ‘Great March of Return’.
On 2nd October, a 74-year-old Palestinian man was shot and injured by Israeli forces in Al Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza, and shortly after died of his wounds. The circumstances of the incident remain unclear: According to Palestinian human rights organisations, the man was shot while standing next to his house, approximately 2,000 metres from the perimeter fence, at a time when no demonstrations or clashes were ongoing.
On 7th October, the Israeli authorities reduced the permissible fishing zone along the southern coast of Gaza from 9 to 6 nautical miles (NM). According to Israeli sources, the restrictions came in response to ongoing incidents along the perimeter fence. The measure is having a direct impact on some 50,000 Palestinians who rely on fishing for their livelihoods.
On at least eight additional occasions outside the context of the ‘Great March of Return’, Israeli forces opened fire in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea areas, off the coast of Gaza, injuring one fisherman and arresting two others. On seven occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza, and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence.
Also in the West Bank, 122 Palestinians, including 36 children, were injured by Israeli forces in multiple clashes. Thirty-six of the injuries occurred during multiple demonstrations held on 1st October across the West Bank in the context of a one-day strike in protest of the approval of the ‘Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People’ the Israeli Parliament last July, as well as in solidarity with the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar, which is at imminent risk of mass demolition.
Another eleven people were injured during the following weekly demonstrations: in Ras Karkar (Ramallah), against the construction of a new settler road on privately-owned Palestinian land; in Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya) against settlement expansion and access restrictions; and in Bil’in and Ni’lin (both in Ramallah) against the barrier and settlement expansion.
• The stabbing attack carried out near the Israeli military checkpoint of Huwara and the PLO Executive Committee’s statement hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies on Friday.
Al-Quds reported that an Israeli soldier and a female settler were injured in a stabbing attack at Huwara checkpoint, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. It added that Israeli forces pursued and detained the Palestinian assailant, reportedly identified as Mu’taz Qassem Hussein, 19, from the Nablus-district village of Jamma’in.
The bystander settlers were reportedly injured by Israeli live ammunition after Israeli forces opened fire at the suspected Palestinian assailant, who was witnessed to have suffered injuries due to being shot with live ammunition. The dailies added that Israeli forces sealed off all main entrances to Nablus district, including Huwara and Zaatara checkpoints, as well as Innab checkpoint, reportedly causing large traffic jams.
According to al-Ayyam, Israeli forces conducted raids across several West Bank districts. During the raids, al-Hayat al-Jadida added, a total of 12 Palestinians were detained.
Highlighting demolitions, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that Israeli bulldozers demolished structures and animal pens in the northern Jordan Valley.
They added that Israeli forces levelled Palestinian farmlands and uprooted olive trees and grapevines in al-Khader, south of Bethlehem.
In contrast, al-Hayat al-Jadida reported the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) Executive Committee reaffirming its absolute rejection of the scheme to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and East Jerusalem – a theme which was also covered in al-Quds and al-Ayyam.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida added in this regard that the State of Palestine would take political and legal measures to confront any party attempting to infringe upon the PLO’s political and legal mandate. Moreover, al-Quds spotlighted an Israeli plan to construct steel parking towers near Bab al-Amoud and Bab al-Nabi Dawud, also known as Damascus Gate and Zion Gate, in Jerusalem.
Regarding the closure of the PLO Delegation Office in Washington DC, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that a demonstration was held outside the office in protest of the closure. Al-Quds added that despite the office closure, the Palestinian flag will remain hoisted at the building.
Al-Ayyam printed a photo for the plaque – which identifies the building as the PLO Delegation Office – being removed. Al-Hayat al-Jadida went on to report the Foreign Ministry stating that it would consider alternative ways for the provision of consular services to the Palestinian community in the US.
Yet, al-Quds highlighted the Israeli government-commissioned Jerusalem 2050 Master Plan, also known as Jerusalem 5800, deigned to fulfil Israel’s vision for the city.
It said that the plan envisions minimising Palestinian presence in the city through the construction of highways and rail lines to connect Ben Gurion airport with the Jordan Valley.
Besides, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said Israel has announced a plan to construct 31 new settler units in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and expand Amichai settlement, illegally built on lands belonging to Turmusayya village, north of Ramallah.
According to both dailies, the Palestinian Higher Fatwa Council stated that it was religiously prohibited to sell Palestinian property to Israeli occupation authorities.
This statement came several days following the revelation that Israeli Jewish settlers have taken over a Palestinian house belonging to the Joudeh family in Jerusalem’s Old City. Al-Ayyam printed a report indicating growing criticism of Qatar’s role in the besieged Gaza Strip following the delivery of Qatari-funded fuel to Gaza’s sole power plant without the Palestinian Authority’s consent.
Labour Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla was reported in al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida announcing the commencement of the mandatory implementation of the Social Security Law on November 1st, 2018. According to al-Ayyam, Israeli forces opened fire at protests along Gaza’s eastern border, injuring four protesters.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported Fatah stating that Hamas’ measures and actions in Gaza are tantamount to the implementation of US President Donald Trump’s plan, dubbed deal of the century, which demands Palestinians concede Jerusalem and the refugees’ right of return.
It added that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation reiterated its support for the peace plan proposed by President Mahmoud Abbas before the UN Security Council.
Regionally, al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that Turkey and Saudi Arabia agreed to set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was likely killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.