On the first day of 2014, 85-year-old Said Jasir died after Israeli forces shot tear gas into his home during a protest in the Palestinian village of Kufr Qaddum near the occupied West Bank town of Qalqiliya. Later on in the month, a two-month-old baby from the same village was injured after a tear gas canister fired by the Israeli army broke a window and penetrated the child’s house.
Also in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot dead 19-year-old Muhammad Mubarak from Jalazone refugee camp. The army claimed that the youth opened fire at a military post near Ofra settlement but eyewitnesses told Agence France-Presse that Mubarak was unarmed and was working as a laborer on the road where the incident occurred as part of a project funded by the US government agency USAID.
On 7 January, Israeli settlers raided Qusra village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, assaulting a Palestinian family and vandalizing property. A group of Palestinian residents apprehended the settlers, injuring ten of them, before Palestinian authorities and human rights activists intervened and handed the settlers over to the Israeli military, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.
Several settler attacks were reportedly carried out in retaliation for the incident, according to OCHA, which also documented 129 Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces in the West Bank from the begnning of the year through 27 January.
Meanwhile in Gaza, during the month of January, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian civilians, including a 16-year-old child, without warning in separate incidents near the Gaza-Israel boundary.
Israeli forces also extrajudicially executed a member of a Palestinian armed group in a strike on his vehicle in Beit Hanoun in the northern occupied Gaza Strip; a 22-year-old relative of the man was also killed in the 22 January attack.
Another member of an armed group was hit by tank fire and killed near the boundary fence east of Gaza City on 8 January. Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, which Israel said were in response to rocket fire from Gaza, caused injuries to a three-year-old Palestinian girl on 9 January in Khan Younis and an Israeli airstrike targeting an alleged member of an armed group on 19 January resulted in the injury of the targeted man and an 11-year-old boy, according to OCHA.
Gaza remained under severe closure during January; Rafah Crossing, the sole outlet for the vast majority of Gaza’s nearly 1.7 million residents, remained closed most of the month, according to OCHA, leaving hundreds of patients unable to access specialized medical care outside Gaza.
On 12 January, a Palestinian laborer died of electrocution while working in a supply tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border; 14 persons, including two children, were killed in tunnel incidents in 2013. The vast majority of the tunnels, which are used to bring essential goods into Gaza while the commercial crossings remain closed by Israel, have been destroyed or shut down by Egypt in recent months.
The situation for Palestinian refugees in Syria remained critical at the dawn of 2014; dozens of cases of death from starvation have been reported at the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus. The UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, reported that it has been prevented from delivering aid to the camp for months and convoys attempting to deliver aid have had to turn back because of gunfire.
UNRWA also reported 72 unconfirmed deaths of Palestine refugees during the period of 17 December through 20 January as a result of the ongoing violence in Syria.