Sunday, March 07, 2021

OCHA: Over 400 Palestinians injured at the end of February

By Jessica Purkiss - March 07, 2013
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [injuries] [protests] [live ammunition] [West Bank] [Arafat Jaradat]

Photos by Lazar Simeonov.

During the week of February 19 until February 25, there have been 440 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces, according to OCHA’s latest report.

OCHA’s weekly summary of events documented the injuries that took place during violent clashes between Israeli forces and protestors who demonstrated against the death of Arafat Jaradat in Megiddo prison as a result of torture on February 23 and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

Long term hunger striker Samer Issawi has exceeded over 200 days without food and his condition is deteriorating rapidly. Two other hunger strikers, Tariq Qa’dan and Jafar Azzedine, recently ceased their strike until March 6, where the Israeli military prosecutor at the court hearing scheduled for that day will decide whether their detention orders will be renewed or not after their current orders expire.

Clashes erupted predominantly in Hebron in areas near the Beit Haggai settlement, in Al 'Arrub and Al Fawwar refugee camps; at Beit ’Enun junction; Sa’ir Halhul Bridge; in Beit Ummar; and in the Old City of Hebron. Other areas that witnessed the majority of clashes included Qalandiya, Al-Jalama in Jenin and Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Near Ramallah outside of Ofer prison, an estimated 2,500 people gathered for midday prayers on Friday where Israeli soldiers shot two people with high-velocity bullets.

OCHA’s report of 440 injuries in less than one week means that an average of 73 Palestinians have been injured per day.

On the day of Arafat Jaradat’s funeral Israeli soldiers shot two youths in Aida camp, Bethlehem during a protest. Odai Sarhan, 16, was shot in the head and Mohammad Khalid Al-Kirdi, 12, was shot once in the chest and once in the leg. Palestine Monitor published an in-depth report on the shootings.

During the six day period sixteen Palestinians sustained injuries from live ammunition. Live ammunition is a growing trend in the Israeli army’s response to protests.

According to the Israeli army, following Jaradat’s death there were 87 separate clashes across the West Bank during a two day period, between the 24th and the 26th February.

During the period of 19th February to the 25th February there have been 28 Palestinians and 12 Israeli settlers injured in the area of Nablus. Despite OCHA noting that this was a slight decrease compared to the weekly average of such incidents in 2012, the numbers are still alarming. 

On the February 23 Israeli settlers from the Esh Kodesh and Kida settlement outposts raided the Palestinian village of Qusra and opened fire with live ammunition at two houses. The Israeli forces intervened firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinians. In the same village a few days earlier, on February 20, Israeli authorities dismantled an electricity network consisting of 33 poles that provided electricity to the Area C neighborhood.

OCHA’s report highlights the escalation of violence used by the Israeli army in response to Palestinian protests. The right to freedom of assembly and the right to freedom of association are supposed to ensure a people’s right to protest, but the 440 Palestinians injured in a single week reflect a different reality on the ground in the West Bank.

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