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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
4 November 2003

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26, 29 Oct - 4 Nov 2003

Palestinians: 4 deaths, 43 injured
0 deaths, 6 injured

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access: 8 incidents
Delay (45 to 180 mins):
8 cases
Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff:
2 incidents
Damage/Shooting at ambulance:
2 incidents
Detention patient (10 min):

29 October: Israeli Soldiers stopped a MoH ambulance transporting a 2-months sick child from Khan Younis to Shifa Hospital in Gaza at Abu Holi checkpoint searched it after ejecting its crew.
30 October: An ambulance transporting a 2-year-old child in critical condition was stopped at Zaa'tar checkpoint. The soldiers detained the ambulance for 3 hours before allowing it to pass and badly damaged. The ambulance equipment during the search.
(Source: MoH, PRCS)

3. Curfews
Curfews were reported in the following locations: Hebron H1 area and areas close to settlements in H2, Tulkarm and Huwwara village (2 days), 'Azzun (1 day),

4. House demolitions
Demolished: 1 in Rafah

5. Land levelling/confiscations:

West Bank
• Ongoing levelling of land between Zeita and Qaffin through Nazlat Isa for construction of the wall.

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

- Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates:
31 October: Despite the collective refusal by the village leader of Jbara last week to receive the green cards
from the IDF, a total of 40 green cards were distributed to the residents of the village. On the same Friday,
the IDF allowed all residents to move freely outside the village; those with green cards were allowed to move
in vehicles, the others only by foot. This permission was suspended again on 3-4 November in conjunction with the closure of Tulkarm.

In Qaffin, a total of 300 farmer households (1200 people) have received the green card out of 700 farmer households.

No one from Baqa Ash Sharqiya, Nazlat Isa and Nazlat Abu Nar has as yet received the green card. All residents are still allowed to cross the entrance gate without a green card. However, for non residents, who need to enter, a green card is required. Teachers, medical staff and official employees are exempted so far.

According to Palestinian Hydrology Group, the agricultural gates in Falamya, Jayyous and Zeita district are open for farmers holding a green card only; however the opening hours remain irregular. All gates in Ras Tira (except from the entrance gate from Ras Atiya) surrounding the settlement of Alfe Menashe have been reported closed during the week.

- Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
03 November: The IDF closed Tayasir Gate at 12:30 for all Palestinians.
04 November: Access to the villages of Azmout, Deir al Hatab and Salem was re-opened after cement block was pulled aside by Palestinians. However the Israeli soldiers re-enforced the closure of the three villages by closing the entrance of these villages at Deir al Hatab by installing road blocks.
• Farmers from the villages of Zububa, Faqu’a, Jalbun and ‘Aba near “the Wall”, and the village of Arraba near the Mevo Dotan settlement, were banned from picking olives by Israeli soldiers order not to enter olive fields near “the wall” and the settlement of Mevo Dotan.

Ramallah governorate (Ramallah/Al-Bireh/Beituniya):
• The IDF erected a rock/earth mound about one month ago at the northern entrance to Shuqba village.
• 2 Military concrete look-out towers were installed recently: one at ‘Atara checkpoint and the other is on the gate of Umm Safa checkpoint.

Bethlehem/Hebron governorates:
• The imposition of the total closure continues to be implemented strictly in both districts but particularly between Bethlehem and surrounding villages. Checkpoint procedure and transit times are deteriorating at CPs of Gilo (Bethlehem) and Ras-Al Joura (Hebron) with international humanitarian organizations also reporting an increase in access problems.
• Palestinian movement remains restricted everywhere in area “C” roads and passage to the northern part of the West Bank is very time-intensive if not impossible
• The total closure of Bethlehem remains in place. The IDF has set up a permanent presence at the Khader entrance, while barbed wire has been placed all along the road leading to the DCO Beit Jala
• Bulldozers are now at work in the area of An Nu’man/Al Khas to level land for the construction of the local section of the Wall and the new bypass road. Activity is also reported in the Zatara area where the Teqoa – Ma’le Adumim bypass road is also being built

7. Access to Schools:
• Teachers from Jenin working in the ‘Aba school were frequently denied access by the IDF, leading to serious delays.
• 02 November: Israeli soldiers prevented 125 teachers to cross at the Durra/Fawar intersection. None was able to reach their respective schools in the area of Yatta, Ar Rihiya, As Samu, Khallet al Maiyya, etc.
• 3 November: 19 teachers were prevented from crossing at Dura/Fawar intersection and could not reach their respective schools.
• UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure and curfew.
• 03 November: School children from Jbara could not attend school because the gate was closed.
• Due to the closure in Tulkarm, teachers were not able to report to duty in Baqa ash Sharqiyia on 03 and 04 November 2003.

8. Labor movement into Israel

West Bank:
A total of 176 traders permit have been issued over the last week for the local population in Tulkarem and 200 have been issued in Qalqilya. No work permits have been issued in the other districts.

29 October: Israeli soldiers reduced the movement restrictions for the Palestinian labourers in the Gaza strip and re-opened Erez Crossing, which had been closed since 4 October 2003. IDF approved permissions to 10,000 agricultural and construction labourers to work inside Israel.

9. Other incidents

29 October: Israeli soldiers closed Abu Houli checkpoint confining dozens of vehicles between the checkpoints and conducted a search campaign. One alleged Hamas activist was arrested. Sporadic Israeli soldiers shooting during the search injuring 7 Palestinians.
31 October: Ahome-made Qassam rocket and a mortar shell were fired from the north of Beit Lahia towards the Israeli northern settlement of Eli Sinai.

Qalqiliya/Tulkarm governorates:
03 November: Tulkarm was placed on strict curfew for 10 hours, and the surrounding villages were closed. Random shootings took place during the curfew. 5 children between 12-17 years old were lightly injured by the gunfire. All shops were closed during the curfew. Schools were closed. Access was granted for international humanitarian aid vehicles, but was subject for Israeli soldiers’ checks. All entrances to Nur Shams and Tulkarem refugee camps were closed.

Nablus/Jenin governorates
29 October: Israeli soldiers entered the northern entrance of Balata camp, clashing with stone throwers. A 13-year old, was killed during the clashes.
01 November: Six IDF infantry solders entered Al Yasmina alley in the old city of Nablus, where a road side bomb exploded. All were wounded, one seriously.
01 November: Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 23-year old man, when he was driving his motorcycle near a flying check point. The soldiers said he refused orders to stop
04 November: Twelve armoured jeeps, two APCs and several bulldozers entered the area of Balata camp leading to clashes with stone throwers, as a result 11 people were injured.

Ramallah governorate
• Israeli soldiers and surveyors visited Ni’lin village in the last week of October 2003. Points were painted on rocks on village land. According to the Mayor, the IDF did not contact the Ni’lin Municipality and refused to talk to the Municipality about what they were doing on the land. No military orders regarding land confiscation or house demolitions have been issued so far.

• Construction work has continued dramatically on the new “Nili-Ofarim settler bypass road” (the old route 446) – linking Nili and Ofarim settlements. It will be four lanes and 5km long.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates
• 03 November: IDF attempted to stop the collection of olives near the settlement of Otniel (Hebron) and resorted to the use of tear gas to disperse those mobilized for the collection which included internationals. Eventually Palestinians were allowed to pick the harvest.

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


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