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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
2 December 2003
OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (25 November - 02 December 2003)
: Casualties - Incidents involving ambulances - Curfew - House demolition - Land
levelling/confiscation - Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement - Access to
Schools - Labour movement into Israel - Other incidents
- 19 injured
- 2 injured
Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams (19-21 November)
Denial of access:
Delay (60 min.):
Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff:
Damage/Shooting at ambulance:
Curfews were reported in the following locations: Jenin city and Jenin refugee camp (2 days),
Sheik Saad, As Sawahira ash Sharqiya, Kufr laqif, Kafr al Labad and Beit Lid (1 day). Partial curfew was imposed Ramallah, al Bireh, al Ama’ari refugee camp and in the areas near Tareq ben Zaid in Hebron.
12 houses and one apartment block
30 November: The village council in Zeita received a confiscation order in conjunction with the preparation for the construction of the wall in the northern part of the village. More details will be included in the next weekly report.
Over the last month, bulldozers have been uprooting olive trees in the village of Far’un south of Tulkarm on approximately 120 dunums of farmland. However, the village only received confiscation orders covering 50.2 dunums of land on 13 September.
29 November: Israeli contractors begin work on an area of 8 dunums on the eastern side of the Gush Etzion checkpoint for a new access road and the future expansion of the checkpoint itself. The owner of the land has not been provided with a formal confiscation order by the Israeli Army.
30 November: 150 olive trees and 70 almond trees were uprooted near Al Mutilla village (east of Jenin). 50 trees were replanted behind the wall (which is under construction). Several Toyota pickups belonging to the contactor building the Wall were seen by the farmers transporting uprooted trees into Israel.
22 dunums were confiscated in Zeita. The confiscation order is dated 23 November and the order was received on 30 November.
A new settlement will be built in East Jerusalem in Jabal al Mukaber neighbourhood. A total number of 550 apartments will be built on a 114 dunums (28.17 acres).
Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement
Last week continued to see a relaxation in the restrictions on the movement of the local population in both Qalqilya and Tulkarem districts at the checkpoints and the major road gates. Qalqilya DCO was open on 27 November allowing everyone to cross in and out easily. Although the checkpoints are still manned by IDF, but there was no checking of ID cards and vehicles.
Ongoing construction of the wall in Nazlat Isa town. Concrete blocks are being installed in the centre of the town.
Officially, all agricultural gates have opening times at 06:00, 12:00 and at 18:00 but only for farmers holding green permits. The following gates however, have been as observed closed during the week; Qalqiliya south, Zeita south, Attil, Salman, Isla, Jayyous south and Izbat Jalud.
• Farmers in Jayyous were able to bring their livestock to the meadows for grazing on the other side of the wall.
A general easing of access on checkpoints in the Nablus was introduced with men over 35 years old and all women were allowed to pass. Dirt roads were however increasingly difficult to pass due to numerous flying checkpoints. A new flying checkpoint continued to be manned most of the day on road 60 at the Yitzhar junction near Huwwara village.
Residents of the villages of Umm ar Rihan and Barta’a ash Sharquiya behind the Wall (the western enclave in Jenin) were allowed to pick olives inside the enclave.
Flying checkpoints were erected at the junction between Qabatiya, Jenin and Birqin during the week.
: Flying checkpoints were at the entrances of Tubas city several hours during the day.
• Ongoing construction of the Wall in different sections in Khallet a Nu’man southern of Jerusalem Ash Sheikh Sa’ad.
• The Wall construction in the Sur Bahir area has ceased, waiting for a ruling from the High Court. The decision of the Magistrate court in Tel Aviv is to continue building the wall in East Jerusalem.
• The construction in Eizariya in one section south of Az Za’yem checkpoint and east of Mount olive monasteries is rapid and will not be disrupted anymore by the appeal from the 5 Jerusalemite families where the construction of the wall cuts them off their lands. In this location the wall is a concrete wall 9 M high.
• The construction of 1.5 Km of barbed-wire fence near to Al Quds University in Abu Dis is in progress
• Jerusalem checkpoints will be manned by border police instead of IDF after having Jerusalem under the Jurisdiction of Maale Adumim Settlement.
• Movement restrictions continued to ease in Bethlehem, while worsening in Hebron.
• Movement of private vehicles on route 60 is still restricted to those carrying a valid permit, but evidence of very limited traffic of Palestinian-plated cars indicates that few are being released.
: A new military observation tower is erected at the end of the bridge linking Hebron to Halhul. The earth mounds preventing vehicles from crossing are still in place and have been enhanced with concrete blocks.
: The earth mounds at the Fawar-Dura crossing are removed once more allowing passage of private vehicles between the area of two largely populated areas of the district Yatta and Hebron. Presence of Israeli Army and Border Police patrols occurs often.
: The gates at the Halhul – Sair junction are removed and replaced by earth mounds cutting off any traffic of private vehicles from Hebron to areas in the north of the West Bank
End of Novembe
r: A gate is placed at the entrance to the street connecting Old Al Shallalah with Al-Shuhada streets in H2. The connecting road is already closed by an earlier gate but the new one prevents access to approximately 5 shops owned by Palestinians. The area is to the immediate east of the Jewish settlement of Beit Hadassah.
End of November:
Settlers from Tel Rumeida, H2, are planting trees in a Palestinian-owned plot of land west of the Israeli Army base. This is part of a continuous effort by these settlers to claim the land as property of the Jewish community before 1929.
• The Hebron National Bus Company continues to run 5 buses on the route Halhul-Al Khader and 6 for the route Halhul-Jericho. Another 22 requests for permits have been submitted to the DCL. Only a limited number of taxis, 7 according to the DCL, are allowed to travel on route 60, although many still travel without the appropriate permit.
Movement restrictions were eased at Abu Houli checkpoint during the Eid holiday. The checkpoint was open 24 hours on 25, 26 and 27 November.
The enclosed areas
: Movement remains restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate opening twice daily for Seafa ID holders from 07.00 to 09.00 and 14.30 to 17.00. Motor vehicles are not allowed to enter, with the exception of international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
: IDF-imposed restrictions remain, with no passage possible for male Mawasi ID holders aged 15-23 without prior coordination. Youths aged below 15 must be accompanied by a guardian.
Access to Schools
• IDF prevented approximately 150 school students between 8 and 14 years old from al Lubban ash Sharqiya to leave school.
• UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure, curfew and lack of permits.
• The opening times of the gate of Ras Atiya and Ras at Tira created problems for 17 students. Since their classes finish at 1300, the students are forced to wait for 3 hours till the gate re-opens at 1600. Students are obliged to skip some of the classes in order not to wait for hours at the gate.
• Irregular opening hours in the afternoon of Jubara gate continue to disrupt students from going back home after finishing classes, especially elementary school children who have to wait for one hour in front of the gate since the IDF choose to let the children through the gate in one group.
Labour movement into Israel
• Qalqiliya DCO stated that an unspecified number of work permits in Israel will be issued soon. To date, none has been issued.
Additional permits were issued for traders for a total of 650 valid documents in Hebron. The DCO has lowered the minimum age requirement for traders to apply for a permit from 35 to 28 years of age, as long as the person is married.
In Bethlehem an additional 89 work permits were issued for residents to work in Israel putting the total number of valid permits issued so far at 690. No new traders’ permits have been issued in Bethlehem.
• Israeli authorities have issued 11,051 permits to Palestinian agricultural and construction workers, and a further 1,360 for Gaza traders
Continuous search and arrest campaigns took place during the week in most of the districts.
• Incursions continued almost every night in Nablus City.
One Palestinian was shot in the leg and another was arrested when they were trying to bypass Beit Iba checkpoint using a dirt road.
IDF entered Jenin imposing curfew on the city and the refugee camp. A 24-year old man was killed during the clashes and another two were injured.
Ramallah/al Bireh/Beituniya governorates:
4 Palestinians and one 17-year old youth were killed during IDF operations in Ramallah.
IDF opened fired at Palestinian youths from and observation tower near Deir abu Mishal. One 18-year old youth, was killed and another was injured. The ambulance transporting body and the injured person was detained by the IDF, and later the injured was brought to an Israeli hospital.
IDF entered the village of Yatta shooting randomly. 4 were reported injured. A 17-year old youth died of sustained injuries on 28 November.
Sporadic exchanges of gun fire took place most evenings, particularly in central and southern Gaza.
Water well was destroyed in Deir al Balah.
(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, Governors’ office, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)