OCHA: Israeli Settler Violence against Palestinians Continues to Escalate

Palestine News & Info Agency – WAFA | 5/9/2011

CAIRO, September 25, 2011 (WAFA) – Settlers have escalated attacks against Palestinians and their property during the week between September 14 and 20, resulting in injury to four Palestinians and damage to around 990 olive trees, Sunday said the weekly report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA).

It said that this escalation comes in the context of a request by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for UN membership.

Settlers from Esh Kodesh, an Israeli Settlemtn outpost clashed with Palestinian residents in Qusra, a village in Nablus in the northern West Bank, during which a Palestinian was shot and injured with live ammunition. Also in Nablus, settlers from the settlement of Itamar physically assaulted and injured three Palestinians who were driving near the settlement.

During the reporting period, OCHA documented eight settler attacks that led to extensive damage of Palestinian-owned property. Settlers cut down, uprooted or set fire to around 990 trees, mainly olive trees, most of which were located on Palestinian land in the vicinity of settlements in the Qalqiliya, Salfit and Ramallah governorates; Since the beginning of 2011, over 6,600 trees belonging to Palestinians have been vandalized by settlers.

It said that Demolition of structures and issuance of demolition orders by the Israeli authorities in Area C of the West Bank have continued; five structures, including a residence, two sections of roads (2.5 meters long) and two animal shelters, were demolished in Al ‘Aqaba, a village in Tubas governorate, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, 23 people, including 11 children, were displaced, some of whom had been previously displaced and were living in animal shelters, and around 300 others were otherwise affected.

The Israeli authorities issued demolition and eviction orders against five structures belonging to a Bedouin community living in ‘Anata, a village in Jerusalem. These included four residences and a kindergarten, in which 45 children are enrolled. Other orders affected five residential structures in Al Buweib, a village in Hebron and two residences and two animal shacks in Al Farsiya, a community in Tubas governorate.

Many communities, which are located in Area C of the West Bank, remain at risk of forced displacement, said OCHA.

It said that Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to fishing areas beyond three nautical miles from the shore and to areas up to 1,500 meters from the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip continue to disrupt the lives and to hinder the livelihoods of thousands of Palestinians.

Electricity blackouts throughout the Gaza Strip continue, with power cuts reaching six to eight hours per day. Basic services including health provision, water supply and waste water management continue to be directly affected by the lack of electricity, said OCHA.

During the reporting period, a total of 4,528 people left Gaza through the Rafah Crossing controlled by Egypt, and 2,286 entered Gaza. This is an increase compared to the number of people who crossed into Egypt in recent weeks, however, it remains below the number of people who crossed per week in the first five months of 2006, before the partial closure of the crossing, when an average of 650 people crossed daily each way, said OCHA.

Palestine News & Info Agency – WAFA – OCHA: Israeli Settler Violence against Palestinians Continues to Escalate.

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