The Month in Pictures: October 2016

Three-day-old Waleed, whose birth pushed the Gaza Strip’s population to two million, at his family’s home in the southern town of Rafah on 12 October. Gaza, a tiny enclave squeezed between Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea and just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) across at its widest point, has one of the highest population densities in the world.

Abed Rahim Khatib APA images

Six Palestinians, including a child, were killed by Israeli occupation forces during the month of October.

Misbah Abu Sbeih, 39, armed with an M-16, shot and killed two Israelis in Jerusalem before being slain himself.

A days-long crackdown in the city followed, during which Ali Atif Shuyukhi, 20, was killed during confrontations with Israeli forces in the Silwan neighborhood near the Old City.

In Beit Ommar village near the West Bank city of Hebron, Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15, was shot dead after allegedly throwing stones at soldiers on 20 October. The Israeli military admitted that soldiers were not in danger when they shot the teen from a distance of 65 feet as he was running away from them.

A young man from the same village, Khalid Ahmad Elayyan Ikhlayil, 23, was shot dead after he allegedly rammed his car into a group of soldiers on 30 October.

Three soldiers were reportedly lightly injured during the incident.

Shot as she lay on ground

Israeli Border Police shot and killed Rahiq Shaji Birawi, 23, at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus on 19 October, claiming that she approached them while brandishing a knife.

Video of the incident emerged showing four Border Police combatants shooting at her as she lay on the ground, several feet away from them.

A member of the Palestinian Authority security forces opened fire at an Israeli military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on 31 October, injuring three soldiers before he was shot dead.

The slain Palestinian, who was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, was identified as Muhammad Turkman, 25. Turkman is the 12th resident of Qabatiya village, in the northern West Bank, to be slain in the past year, and the fourth Palestinian Authority officer killed during the course of attacks and alleged attacks.

Since the beginning of the year, 71 Palestinians, including 20 children, and 16 Israelis have been killed during attacks and suspected attacks. More than 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of this year.

Also during October, Mahmoud Jawda, 23, died of injuries he sustained during an Israeli army raid in January 2007, when he was 14 years old. Shot with live ammunition, Jawda “had been hospitalized most of the time and continued to suffer deteriorating health conditions,” according to the United Nations monitoring group OCHA.

Tunnel deaths

A Palestinian man died from electrocution inside a tunnel used to bring in supplies underneath the closed border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on 10 October, and two fighters with the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, died in separate tunnel accidents during the month.

Israel demolished or confiscated approximately 70 structures in the West Bank during October, displacing nearly 150 people, about half of them children, according to OCHA.

Meanwhile Egypt opened the Rafah crossing – the sole point of exit and entry for the 2 million residents of the Gaza Strip – for seven days during the month, allowing about 4,500 residents to exit and 2,000 to enter the territory, which has been under siege for nearly a decade.

“Approximately 20,000 people are registered and waiting to exit Gaza via Rafah, according to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza,” OCHA reported.

Palestinian refugees in Syria killed

Seven Palestinian refugees, two of them children, were killed in Khan Eshieh, a camp in the countryside of Damascus, as it came under fierce bombardment by Russian and Syrian government warplanes and tightened siege during October.

The United Nations warned that the camp could become “another Yarmouk,” referring to the Damascus-area camp where dozens of residents starved to death after a complete siege was imposed by government forces and allied groups in July 2013. That camp has since been taken over by fighters with the Islamic State group.

The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria recorded a total of 22 Palestinian refugee deaths in Syria during October as a result of the ongoing war there, the majority of them civilians.

The head of the Jalud village council shows a map of Israel’s plans for new settlement construction near Nablus, in the northern West Bank, on 8 October. Palestinian residents of Jalud reported that Israeli authorities delivered notices alerting them that private land belonging to villagers was slated for confiscation.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

Palestinian youth throw stones at an Israeli military jeep during a raid in al-Ram, a town near Jerusalem, on 9 October. Israel launched a crackdown following a shooting attack in Jerusalem that left two Israelis and the Palestinian gunman dead.

Faiz Abu Rmeleh ActiveStills

A member of the Samaritan community decorates a traditional hut known as a sukkah with fruits and vegetables on Mount Gerizim, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, ahead of the week-long Sukkot holiday on 13 October.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Palestinians wait for travel permits to cross into Egypt via the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza on 15 October. For two days Egypt temporarily reopened the crossing for travel in both directions.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Protesters in the West Bank city of Hebron call on Israel to return the bodies of Palestinians slain during alleged, attempted and actual attacks on Israelis on 16 October. Israel has also withheld the bodies of dozens of Palestinians over the past year, preventing families from giving their loved ones a dignified burial or carrying out autopsies which would yield information that could be used in court.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Palestinians hold posters of Mohammad El Halabi, Gaza director with the Christian anti-poverty group World Vision, who was arrested by Israel in June, during a protest outside UNESCO headquarters in Gaza City on 16 October. Israel alleges that El Halabi diverted up to $50 million of the charity’s funds to Hamas over six years, but World Vision has insisted that would simply be impossible, as its aid program for Gaza amounts to less than $3 million per year.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Ranim Safadi works at the metal workshop run by her and her husband in the West Bank village of Urif, near Nablus, on 18 October.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

A Palestinian woman picks olives during the annual harvest at an orchard the West Bank city of Nablus on 19 October.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

The home of Amjad Aliwi, accused of involvement in the killing of a Jewish settler couple last year, after Israeli authorities punitively demolished it in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on 11 October. Aliwi and three other men were handed life sentences by an Israeli military court in July over the shooting deaths of Eitam and Naama Henkin. Eight people, including five children, were displaced as a result of the demolition.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Fighters with the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, carry the body of Amir Jaber Abu Taimeh during his funeral in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, on 24 October. Abu Taimeh was killed when a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip.

Abed Rahim Khatib APA images

Palestinian students and teachers at the Talai al-Amal School in the West Bank city of Nablus celebrate after winning the Best School prize of $1 million in the Arab Reading Challenge, a competition organized by the United Arab Emirates to encourage children to read, on 24 October. More than 30,000 schools participated in the competition, which required pupils at participating schools to read and summarize in detail at least 50 books. Eight hundred of Talai al-Amal’s 3,100 students participated in the challenge.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

A Palestinian dancer performs during a 12-hour art marathon organized by the music ensemble Le Trio Joubran in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 26 October. The group announced that $1 million was raised during the marathon to fight breast cancer.

Shadi Hatem APA images

Palestinian children walk on the rubble of their home, which was demolished by Israel on the pretext that it was built without a permit in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on 26 October. A multi-unit building belonging to Jaafreh family was demolished, leaving an extended family of 30 Palestinians — most of them children — without shelter. Israel routinely denies Palestinians building permits and then destroys structures built without permission.

Mahfouz Abu Turk APA images

Palestinian children take part in a karate graduation ceremony at a club in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on 28 October.

Abed Rahim Khatib APA images

The mother of Khalid Ikhlayil holds a photo of her son in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar on 31 October. Ikhlayil was shot dead by soldiers after he allegedly rammed his car into a group of them stationed outside the town the previous day.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Protesters hold posters of Palestinian hunger strikers to show solidarity with political prisoners in Israeli detention outside the Red Cross office in the West Bank city of Hebron on 31 October.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Palestinians wait for the military to allow them to cross a gate in Israel’s wall in the West Bank to access their agricultural land during the autumn harvest season in the village of Biddu, northwest of Jerusalem, on 31 October.

Shadi Hatem APA images