Palestine in Pictures: August 2017

A Palestinian family looks on from above as Israeli soldiers stand guard while Ultra-Orthodox Jews visit a sacred site in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, 1 August.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

One Palestinian was killed by Israeli occupation forces during the month of August – a dramatic drop in deadly violence after 20 Palestinians died by Israeli fire and five Israelis were slain by Palestinians in July.

Qutayba Ziad Zahran, whose age was reported to be 17, was shot by Israeli soldiers at the Zaatara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank on 19 August.

Israel claimed the teen was attempting to stab soldiers when he was killed. An Israeli soldier was wounded by another soldier during the incident.

Shortly before his death Zahran had stated on Facebook his intention to carry out an attack, longing for a “martyr’s funeral.”

Zahran is the 56th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli fire so far this year, and the 16th minor among them. Twelve Israelis, most of them soldiers, and a British national have been slain by Palestinians during the same period.

Israel has withheld Zahran’s body, a policy it has imposed as an act of collective punishment and to prevent large funerals like the one wished for by the teen. On 4 August Israel did transfer the remains of four Palestinians slain by its forces during the month of July.

Hamas officer killed

Meanwhile a Hamas security officer was killed in a suicide bombing attack on Gaza’s southern border on 17 August.

Nidal al-Jaafari and a fellow officer were trying to stop two men from crossing over into Egypt when one of the men set off an explosives belt, killing al-Jaafari and injuring the other officer.

The family of the suicide bomber condemned the attack and announced its refusal to hold a funeral for him. He was reportedly affiliated with a jihadi salafist group that has been the target of a Hamas crackdown.

Samid Salah Hajjaj, a fighter with Islamic Jihad’s military wing, died during a training accident in Gaza, the resistance group announced.

Two Palestinian patients died while awaiting permission from Israel to exit Gaza for medical treatment. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights stated that the women’s deaths bring to 15 the number of patients who have died “as a direct result of Israel’s systematic delay and denial of patient requests to travel for medical treatment outside of Gaza.”

Gisha, an Israeli rights group, meanwhile reported that Palestinians holding an exit permit and attempting to travel outside of Gaza via Israel’s Erez checkpoint are being required to sign a waiver “committing not to return to Gaza for at least a year, as a condition for being allowed to depart on their journeys.”

Gaza siege

The Rafah crossing with Egypt – the sole point of exit and entry for the vast majority of Gaza’s two million residents – was exceptionally opened for four days to allow Palestinians to travel to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, and for another two days to allow the movement of urgent humanitarian cases. Egypt had kept Rafah crossing closed since May; the crossing has been closed with only sporadic exceptions since late October 2014.

The chronic electricity crisis in Gaza deteriorated further in August, with the territory’s sole power plant turning off one of its two operating turbines due to a fuel shortage, extending power cuts up to 22 hours per day.

In an unprecedented move, Israel revoked the citizenship from a Palestinian citizen of the state for “breach of loyalty.”

Israeli forces bulldozed al-Araqib, a Palestinian Bedouin village in the south of the state, for the 116th time. An Israeli court ruled that six residents of the village must pay more than $72,000 to cover the costs for the repeated demolition of al-Araqib, in addition to nearly $28,000 to pay for the state’s lawyer.

In central Israel, a Palestinian teen from the West Bank was detained after allegedly stabbing and seriously injuring an Israeli man.

Two Israeli soldiers were attacked in a park near the coastal city of Haifa by a group of young Israelis who had mistaken the pair for Palestinians, according to media reports.

A Palestinian girl, aged 8, was killed after being struck by a vehicle reportedly driven by an Israeli settler in the northern West Bank.

Such frequent incidents are treated by Israel as accidents, even when witnesses claim the car rammings are deliberate.


A Palestinian man from Gaza living in Sweden was executed by unknown perpetrators while the UK announced it was reopening an investigation into the assassination of Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali in London 30 years ago.

The wife of disappeared Palestinian-Syrian software developer Bassel Khartabil announced in August that it had been confirmed her husband was executed by the Syrian government in late 2015.

The deaths of six other Palestinians being held by the Syrian government were recorded during August.

Fifteen Palestinians, several of them from Yarmouk refugee camp, are reported to have died in battle while fighting against the Islamic State group and other militias in Syria during the month.

A two-day-old girl from besieged Yarmouk camp died on 14 August from lack of oxygen and proper medical treatment.

A Palestinian woman waits to cross through an Israeli checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, on 6 August. While Israelis travel freely across the boundary between Israel and the West Bank, Palestinians in the West Bank are required to go through a checkpoint and hold a military permit in order to cross.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

A Palestinian woman inspects a home after it was stormed by the Israeli army overnight in the West Bank city of Hebron, 8 August. Two Palestinians were arrested during the raid on two homes. The army says it was looking for weapons and explosives.

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Palestinians from the village of Umm Safa, west of the West Bank city of Ramallah, inspect a car that was torched by Israeli settlers who vandalized property in the village, 9 August. The settlers left graffiti vowing revenge for three Israelis stabbed and killed by a Palestinian assailant in a West Bank settlement on 21 July.

Shadi Hatem APA images

Palestinians gather around the remains of a house belonging to the family of a  Palestinian assailant after it was demolished by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal, near Ramallah, on 10 August.

Shadi Hatem APA images

Israeli occupation forces patrol a street in the West Bank city of Hebron on 10 August. The military demolished three homes and sealed off a fourth belonging to the families of Palestinians in the West Bank who allegedly carried out attacks against Israeli forces, the army said. Punitive home demolitions are an act of collective punishment and are thus a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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Palestinians protest against the blockade on Gaza and call for the resignation of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, Gaza City, 10 August.

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Palestinians celebrate during a mass wedding funded by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank village of Taffouh, east of Hebron, 10 August.

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Israeli troops using bulldozers, including one manufactured by Volvo, demolish a house in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khashim al-Daraj, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, on 14 August.

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Graffiti on Israel’s wall, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 18 August.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

Muhammad Abu Rizeq sits in front of his home, one of 14 buildings slated for demolition in the West Bank village of al-Walaja, 18 August. The Israeli military issued a demolition notice on the pretext that the home was built without a permit. When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, it annexed al-Walaja’s land to Jerusalem, but not its residents. The vast majority are registered as West Bank Palestinians without Israeli residency rights, making it nearly impossible for residents to obtain building permits from the Jerusalem municipality.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

Palestinians enjoy a day at the beach in Gaza City, 20 August.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock viewed from the West Bank village of al-Eizariya, 20 August.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

Palestinian fisherman Jihad al-Soltan displays a message that he found in a bottle that was caught in his net off the Gaza coast, 21 August. The message was written by written British university student Bethany Wright and her boyfriend Zac Marriner, a medical doctor, during a holiday in Greece in early July. Al-Soltan told the US broadcaster NPR that it was the first piece of personal mail he had received since 1977. He added that three years earlier, he had written “End the Siege” in Arabic on a piece of paper and put it in a bottle and threw it into the sea, but got no response.

Yasser Qudih APA images

Palestinian children walk through a drainage pipe on their way to school on the first day of the new academic year in han al-Ahmar village, near the West Bank city of Jericho, 23 August. Israel says that it will evacuate the Bedouin village on the pretext that it was built without a permit.

Shadi Hatem APA images

Palestinian schoolchildren ride a motorcycle on their way to school on the first day of the new academic year, Deir al-Balah refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, 23 August.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Palestinian children attend school inside a tent after Israeli occupation forces confiscated European Union-funded trailers used as classrooms in the village of Jubbet al-Dib, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 24 August. In recent years, Israel has destroyed at least $74 million worth of EU-funded projects, including schools, playgrounds and agricultural initiatives.

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Palestinians gather at a livestock market in Gaza City ahead of Eid al-Adha, 25 August. Eid al-Adha — the Feast of the Sacrifice — is celebrated by Muslims as a commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God. Cows, camels, goats and sheep are traditionally slaughtered during the holiday.

Mohammed Asad APA images

A Palestinian protester holds empty tear gas canisters fired by Israeli occupation forces during confrontations following a weekly demonstration against the theft of the village land in Kafr Qaddum, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, 25 August.

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Palestinians wait for permission to cross into Egypt via the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza after Egypt opened it for humanitarian cases on 27 August. The crossing — the sole point of exit and entry for the vast majority of Gaza’s 2 million residents — has been closed with only rare exception since October 2014.

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A child stands with donkeys in front of al-Nada towers in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, on 28 August. The towers were badly damaged during Israel’s 51-day assault in the summer of 2014.

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Palestinians protest against new Israeli military gates and barriers near the Ibrahimi mosque in the Old City of the West Bank city of Hebron, 28 August.

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Israeli forces raid al-Hurriya radio station in the West Bank city of Hebron, confiscating equipment and shutting it down, accusing it of incitement to violence, 30 August.

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