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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
18 November 2003
OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (12 - 18 November 2003)
INSIDE: Casualties --
Incidents involving ambulances -- Curfew --
House demolition --
Land levelling/confiscation --
Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement -- Access to Schools -- Labour movement to Israel --
- 26 injured
- 8 injured
Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access:
Delay (120 min.):
Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff:
Damage/Shooting at ambulance:
Curfews were reported in the following locations:
‘Asira ash Shamaliya (4 days), al Yamun, ‘Attil, al Khadr and the housing project in Beit Jala (
The IDF is leveling approximately 10 dunums (2.471 acres) at the beginning of the road leading to the Negohot settlement at the cross roads of Beit Awwa.
Ongoing levelling of land between Zeita and Qaffin through Nazlat Isa for construction of the wall.
Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement
Last week saw a further relaxation in the movement of the local population in both Qalqiliya and Tulkarm districts.Crossing checkpoints and gates were eased in general.
13 November: The road barrier that was removed last week on the entrance to the village of Kafr ad Dik in Salfit district was re-installed, sealing off again the village from the main road.
A total of 8 agricultural gates (out of 12) are operational in Qalqiliya and Tulkarm districts, but only for farmers who hold green-coloured permits. The gates are open 2-3 times a day for approximately 15-20 minutes. Despite the opening of the gates, in Jayyous, the farmers are still facing difficulties when trying to enter their land on the other side of the wall. On 15 November, the shepherds of Jayyous appealed for international assistance as they are not allowed to bring their livestock to the meadows on the other side of the wall. As a result animals are not grazing. Farmers cannot afford to buy food from Israel or elsewhere.
In Tulkarm, a total of 25 permits have been issued by the IDF to people who wish to travel to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to attend the Friday prayer in conjunction with Ramadan. In Qalqiliya, the list of applicants is still under consideration. Male applicants must be above the age of 45 years and female above 35. Applicants require a marriage certificate. Unmarried people are not eligible.
Since 14 November crossing checkpoints has in general been easier. However, using dirt roads was more difficult due to flying checkpoints. At Ytzhar junction near Huwwara village and at Deir Sharaf junction near Dir Sharaf village, new flying checkpoints are operating for several hours everyday
Ramallah governorate (Ramallah/Al-Bireh/Beituniya):
In general there has been an easing of movement restrictions and more Palestinian vehicles are now travelling between villages on the bypass roads. However, flying checkpoints are still operating, particularly at road junctions and at the entrances to villages such as Shuqba.
Non-resident Palestinians of Nil’in village must leave their ID cards at the Nil’in checkpoint when entering the village and pick them up on the way out.
The gate at An Nabi Salih was closed to vehicles except ambulances and humanitarian agencies throughout the week. This gate is the only access road to the following villages: An Nabi Salih, Beit Rima, Deir Ghassana, Qarawat Bani Zeid and Kafr ‘Ein. Villagers report that flying checkpoints are frequently operating on the dirt roads between Beit Rima and Aboud and Kafr 'Ein villages.
14 November: Flying check points were established in different places, especially in and around the Old City and on Hebron Road, as well as on the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya/Ma’ale Adumim Junction.
Construction of the Wall is continuing in the different areas of Khallet an Nu’man and East Jerusalem. In al-‘Eizariya 6 meter high concrete slabs have been erected (south of Az Za’ayyem checkpoint).
The construction in the Sur Bahir area has ceased, waiting for a ruling from the High Court.
IDF closed the turn off from route 35 south to Idhna with an earth mound and a concrete block. This is an important route for the Palestinians to travel from south to north in the district. The earth mound has since been breached but the IDF has increased patrols in the area
14 November: Border Police prevented Palestinians crossing at Gilo checkpoint to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday Prayers, the third consecutive week of denial, restricting crossing only to men over 45 and women over 35 to cross.
Construction works continued around the areas of Ayda Camp in Bethlehem district to prepare the ground for new sections of the Wall
The enclosed areas
Al Seafa: Movement is still restricted by the IDF, as the only entrance gate opens only twice daily for the holders of Al Seafa ID’s from 07:00 – 09: 00 and from 14:30 -17:00. Motor vehicles are still not allowed to move in or out.
Al Mawasi area: IDF imposed restrictions remain in place, as men aged between 15-23 years cannot move in or out, with out prior coordination while youths aged below 15, can also not move, without a companion (mother or father).
Access to Schools:
One Palestinian teacher was reported to have been beaten by Border Police at a Flying checkpoint between Al-‘Auja and Jericho.
UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure, curfew and lack of permits.
Labour movement into Israel
So far 469 permits have been issued for workers from Bethlehem to go to Israel but none for Palestinians from Hebron. In addition 280 trade permits were issued in Hebron for one month, and 150 trade permits were issued in Bethlehem for three months.
No new trader permits have been issued over the past week in Tulkarem and Qalqiliya.
Permits to enter Israel have now been issued to 10,480 Palestinian agricultural and construction workers. In addition, 1,360 trade permits were issued.
13 November: IDF gun boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in Soudania area west of Beit Lahia.
Sporadic exchanges of gun fire took place most evenings, particularly in central and southern Gaza.
11 mortars, 1 anti-tank and 1 Qassam rocket have been fired towards the Israeli settlements of, Neve Dekalim, Netzarim, Morag and Gadid. Additionally, 5 roadside bombs were activated in Rafah, Bait Hanoun and Gaza against IDF vehicles.
17 November: The IDF entered Tulkarm refugee camp with jeeps and tanks. An alleged Fateh movement activist was killed during the operation and another four were reported injured.
15 November: The IDF entered Beit Furik village and clashes broke out with worshipers leaving the mosque. Ahmed Hanani, a 14-year old child, was shot dead.
16 November: The IDF entered Asira ash Shamaliya village, imposed a curfew and conducted house-tohouse search campaigns. Some cars were damaged by the IDF. No arrests reported.
18 November: A gunman opened fire early Tuesday at a group of Israelis soldiers standing at a roadblock on the Tunnel Road linking Jerusalem and the Gush-Etzion settlement blockilling two soldiers.
(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, Governors’ office, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)