17 May, 2011
Over 200 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces
This week, Israeli forces injured 204 Palestinians, including at least 60 children, the majority of them in demonstrations commemorating the 63rd anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the 1948 Nakba (the catastrophe). Four members of Israeli forces were also injured during the week. Thus far in 2011, 666 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, compared to 628 in the equivalent period of 2010.
The Nakba demonstrations and clashes started on 13 May for a period of three days, with a significant escalation recorded on 15 May (the day of the anniversary). The clashes mostly involved stone‐throwing by the demonstrators and the firing of live ammunition, rubber‐coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters by Israeli forces. Overall 185 Palestinians were injured in this context. The bulk of the clashes and 153 of the injuries occurred in areas in East Jerusalem, mostly in and around the Old City and next to the Qalandiya and Shu’fat checkpoints, which control access to the city from the north and the east, respectively. At the latter location, 31 female students were injured on 16 April while in their school after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces. Two Israeli policemen were also injured in East Jerusalem at a flying checkpoint in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood, after a Palestinian ran over them with a vehicle. The remainder 32 Palestinians injuries in this context occurred in demonstrations and clashes in Hebron, Qalqiliya and Bethlehem.
Also this week, ten Palestinians were injured in the weekly protests against the Barrier in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages and the expansion of Hallamish settlement on An Nabi Saleh land, all in the Ramallah governorate.
The remaining nine Palestinians sustained injuries in confrontations with Israeli forces at checkpoints and during search‐and‐arrest operations. Overall this week, Israeli forces conducted around 70 search‐andarrest operations throughout the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, a decline of 22 per cent compared to the weekly average for such operations since the beginning of 2011.