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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
28 October 2003

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 25

Humanitarian Update for oPt (22-28 October 2003)

Palestinians: 18 deaths, 45 injured
Israelis: 3 deaths, 7 injured

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access: 2 incidents
Delay (60 to 300 mins): 4 cases
Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff: 1 incident
Shooting at ambulance: 1 incident
Detention of ambulance staff: 0

3. Curfews
Curfews were reported in the following locations: 'Arura (4 days), Kafr 'Ein and Qarawat Bani Seit (3 days), Irtah and Tel Rumeida (2 days), Beit Sira, Beit Liqya, Bizzariya and Silat al Harithiya (1 day).

4. House demolitions
Demolished: 160
Partially demolished: 7

5. Land levelling/confiscation

West Bank
17 October: A military order requisitioning 1.6 dunums of agricultural land planted with almond and olive trees was issued; the owners were only informed a week later. The piece of land lies in the middle of a 28 dunum plot (with a house and well) between Ramallah and ‘Ein Qiniya village past a military base that totally blocks
22 October: IDF bulldozed land and cut olive trees for the construction of the wall near ‘Ayda refugee camp. Construction of the wall will start on 1 November 2003. The IDF already marked 70 dunums in that area.
• The levelling of land between Zeita and Qaffin through Nazlat Isa is on going for construction of the wall.

22 October: IDF destroyed one water well in Beit Hanun.

6. Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement

- Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates:
A new military order regarding obtaining a special “green card” has been produced by the IDF as permission/ID card for the farmers to both enter and to continue to reside on the “seam zone” between the separation wall and the green line. The new permissions have been issued based on old applications as residents have not applied to the IDF. In Tulkarem, IDF has over the past two weeks issued some 1,500 green cards and in Qalqilya, some 2,000 green cards have been issued over the same period. (See feat/trans1003.htm)

According to the new military order the following villages in Qalqilya district will be affected: Azzun Atma, Ras at Tira, Arab Abu Farda, Ad Daba and Ramadeen and the following villages in Tulkarem district as well: Nazlat Isa, Baqa Ash Sharqiya, Nazlat Abu Nar, Jbara and Shweika.

On 22 October, the IDF declared that the following gates were re-opened for the farmers; Jayyous, Falamya, Ramadeen, Wadi Rasha, Habla North and Khirbet Isla. According to DCL in Tulkarem, “all” agricultural gates in Tulkarem district were re-opened from 19 October, with the official opening hours 06:00, 12:00 and 18:00 for 20 minutes per time, only for holders of a green card. However, in reality access remains arbitrary.

As for Habla North, this gate has remained closed.

All gates and checkpoints in Tulkarem district were reported closed on 21 October. The access gate to Baqa Ash Sharqiya in Tulkarem district was reported closed on 22-24 October. The access gate to Anabta has been reported closed during the whole week.


- Nablus/Jenin governorates:
27 October: The IDF sealed again the villages of Azmout, Deir al Hatab and Salem by installing cement blocks on the only access road of these villages. According to the Nablus DCL, the blocks were reinstalled only for one day as a temporary measure. However, the blocks, which effectively hinder all vehicular traffic into the villages, still remain. The move constitutes a severe aggravation of the already deteriorated humanitarian situation in the three villages.
• Access at al Hamra checkpoint into the Jordan Valley continued to constitute a problem for UNRWA teachers who were subjected to major delays.


7. Access to Schools:
• The gate between Jbara and Ar Ras is still open daily for the pupils both in the morning and in the afternoon, however, the opening hours have become more irregular and often the pupils have to wait up to an hour before being let through
• UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure and curfew.

8. Labor movement into Israel

West Bank:
All work permits in Tulkarm and Qalqiliya governorates are still suspended.

9. Other incidents

26 October: 2003, IDF invaded the town of Al Zahra’ a, south of Netzarim settlement destroying three large apartment buildings each 13 floors high.
26 October: 2003, IDF gunboats opened warning fire at Palestinian fishermen who were exceeding 8 nautical miles

Qalqiliya/Tulkarm governorates:
22 October: Strict curfew was placed on the villages of Anabta and Kafr Al Labad around 21:00 p.m. Heavy shootings were reported during the curfew, which lasted until after midnight. No arrests and no injuries have been reported.
25 October: The Israel ministry of housing issued a tender for the construction of 153 new apartments in the Karnei Shomron settlement, in Qalqiliya.

Nablus/Jenin governorates
22 October: A car with three Palestinians blew up in the eastern part of Nablus city. One of the three died later the same day in Rafidia hospital. IDF denied any responsibility of the incident.
24 October: One Austrian and one US national from ISM (International Solidarity Movement) were injured during clashes near Balata refugee camp.
26 October: A Palestinian was shot when he was trying to leave his village Burin south of Nablus on the way to his work in Nablus city. He was taken to Rafidiya hospital but he died on the same day.
26 October: IDF entered Qabatiya town south of Jenin, clashing with Palestinians throwing stones. Three Palestinians were injured including a 12-year old boy.
27 October: IDF issued an order to close Yabad Elementary School for a period of one week. The IDF related this order to the stone throwing that allegedly took place near the school.

Ramallah governorate
25 October: The Israel ministry of housing issued a tender for the construction of 180 new apartments in the Givat Ze’ev settlement south of Beituniya/Ramallah.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates
22 October: Three UNRWA staff members were delayed for more than two hours at Maale Adumim police station and were told that the driver doesn’t hold a permit to drive in Israel.

(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)

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