Israel Arrests 36 Palestinians in First Week of February

RAMALLAH, February 15, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces injured 36 Palestinians, including nine children, in various clashes across the West Bank between February 3 and 9, showed a report prepared by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The report said six were injured with live ammunition, including four children. The incident resulting in the single largest number of injuries, which amounted to 21, including a 15-year-old child, took place on February 6 during the weekly protest against the longstanding closure of the entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, in Qalqiliya.

The report added that on February 4, Israeli forces raided as-Sawiya al-Lubban Secondary School while students were in class, and fired sound bombs in the school premises, disrupting classes and forcing all the students to leave the school.

The incident occurred after Israeli settlers claimed they had been hit by stones thrown from the school premises.

According to initial information provided by the Working Group on Grave Violations, a steep increase was observed in incidents affecting students and/or disrupting schooling in the West Bank, with 152 such incidents recorded in 2014 compared to 46 in 2013.

Out of the total number of such incidents in 2014, eight involved as-Sawiya al-Lubban Secondary School.

On February 6, in the south Hebron Hills, near the settlement of Ma’on, Israeli forces beat and detained two 15-year-old children over night, following complaints by the settlement head that they were grazing their sheep on land planned for the expansion of the settlement.

Overall, Israeli forces conducted 96 search and arrest operations during the week of February 2015, compared to a weekly average of 87 during 2014.

It said that one third were carried out in the Jerusalem governorate, and three triggered clashes resulting in five injuries, including two children injured by live ammunition in the village of Ya’bad, in Jenin; two men injured in the village of Ajja, in Jenin: one as a result of physical assault by Israeli forces and the other due to tear gas inhalation; and lastly a woman injured due to tear gas inhalation in the village of Kharbatha al-Misbah, in Ramallah.

During various search and arrest operations Israeli forces reportedly destroyed doors and furniture and confiscated money; these include several cases in Salfit city and the village of ‘Illar, Tulkarem.

On February 4, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was injured as a result of unexploded ordnance he found on the side of the road in Jayyus village (Qalqiliya). This is the second injury attributed to the detonation of unexploded ordnance during 2015. In 2014, 18 Palestinians, including ten children, were injured in similar incidents.