During the month of October a Palestinian man was shot and fatally wounded by Israeli soldiers while driving in a car with his sister in the central occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of “extrajudicially executing” Muhammad Musa, 26, whose sister Latifa, 33, was also shot and injured.
Twelve Palestinian fighters were killed when Israel detonated a tunnel along its boundary with Gaza. An Islamic Jihad military wing commander was among those killed. At least a dozen others were injured.
Hamas, who had two fighters killed in the tunnel demolition, accused Israel of attempting to scupper the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed earlier in the month by the Islamist group and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.
Three Palestinians from Gaza were abducted by suspected militants from the Sinai peninsula while working in a tunnel near the border with Egypt.
The body of a 70-year-old Israeli settler who was stabbed and killed was found in the town of Kafr Qasim, located in Israel. Israel arrested two Palestinians from the West Bank town of Qabatiya, saying the pair killed the man in revenge for Israel’s slaying of one of their friends from the village.
Seventy-one Palestinians have died by Israeli fire so far this year. Sixteen Israelis and a British national were killed by Palestinians in the same period.
The Israeli military raided Palestinian media outlets across the West Bank, barring and welding shut broadcasting stations in four cities under ostensible Palestinian Authority control.
Israel imposed 11 days of closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, further limiting already highly restricted Palestinian movement from the territories.
At least two Palestinian farmers were injured, hundreds of trees were damaged and several tons of produce stolen by settlers during the annual olive harvest in the West Bank.
Rafah crossing, the sole point of exit and entry for the vast majority of Gaza’s two million residents, remained closed in October.
The United Nations monitoring group OCHA stated during the month that the movement of people to and from Gaza had declined to the lowest levels in two years.
“This has exacerbated the isolation of Gaza from the remainder of the [occupied Palestinian territories] and the outside world, further limiting access to medical treatment unavailable in Gaza, to higher education, to family and social life, and to employment and economic opportunities,” OCHA stated, adding that it also “impeded humanitarian operations.”
UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, announced that it had reopened two of its six schools in Sbeineh camp, south of the Syrian capital, for the first time since December 2012.
The camp, which had a population of some 25,000 Palestinian refugees before the beginning of the war in Syria, was vacated after it became an arena of fighting in 2013 and had remained closed to civilians until late August, according to UNRWA.
“It is estimated that 2,500 Palestine refugee families have so far entered the camp,” the agency added. “It is expected that an additional 1,000 families will return to the camp in the coming months.”
A dozen Palestinians were reported to have died as a result of the ongoing war in Syria, including a baby who died due to lack of access to medical treatment in besieged Yarmouk refugee camp.
Two Palestinians, including a commander of a militia that fought against the Islamic State’s infiltration of the camp, were killed by sniper fire in Yarmouk during the month.
Other Palestinians died in battle and one Palestinian was reported to have died in Syrian government prison.