The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) military operation entered its second week, with seven of the eight main West Bank cities, and adjoining refugee camps, declared closed military zones. Some 800,000 Palestinians remain under curfew with severe movement restrictions imposed on the remaining 1.4 million town and village residents. Movement between specified areas within the West Bank is now prohibited without special permits, with severe consequences for humanitarian service providers.
The curfew has been temporarily lifted for a few hours in certain localities, to allow residents to obtain essential supplies and final year students to sit the tawjihi exams. The ICRC has been facilitating the transfer of exam papers, teachers and invigilators. Israeli sources have indicated that 'Operation Determined Path' will continue for an extended period.
Between 1500 and 2000 Palestinians have been arrested since the start of the current operation, bringing the number of those currently in custody to approximately 7000. Some 990 Palestinians released and denied re-entry to Jenin are being hosted in Burkin, a nearby village, where UNWRA is assisting by delivering flour to the local bakery. It is also reported that the UNWRA school in Jenin camp has been used by the IDF as a detention centre.
The closure regime is also severely affecting development and emergency services. Over thirty NGO members of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) have prepared a joint statement protesting current restrictions on humanitarian access, which will be published next week.
West Bank localities currently under curfew: starting dates
21 June +: Jenin town & camp, Nablus, Askar camp, Balata camp, Beit Furik, Tulkarm town & camp, Shuweika, Attil, Zeita, Jarushiya, Deir Al-Ghusun, Qalqilia, Beitunia, Bethlehem, Al-Khader, Deheisheh, Beit Jala, Aida camp. Awarta (21-22 June) and Huwarra (21-22 June).
22 June +: Doha, Beit Sahour.
23 June +: Abu Deis, Beit Jibrin camp, Beit Wazan, Araqa, Hashimiya, Yamoun, Kufr Rumman, Anabta, Zawata, Al-Funduq (23-26 June), Camp No. 1.
24 June +: Dura, Yatta, Iktaba, Tubas, Ramallah, Tayasir, Tammoun, Aqaba, Amari camp.
25 June +: Hebron, Arraba, Artas.
27 June +: Anin, Al-Bireh, Halhoul and Eizariya.
Restrictions on access continue to be the major obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the oPt, with UNWRA, WPF and ICRC still utilizing international drivers due to the difficulties involved in accessing areas with national drivers..
WFP food deliveries are being stored in Ministry of Social Affairs warehouses and distributed to beneficiaries directly when curfew is lifted. WFP will be increasing its capacity in both the West Bank and in Gaza by placing food monitors in several of the major towns. WFP is also in the process of setting up a database that will monitor the ratio between the amount of food being delivered and beneficiaries in need. The database will include deliveries from all the major organizations.
UNWRA delivered 24 tons of food parcels and tinned food to Salem and Rummaneh, 9.5 tons of flour and 400 blankets to Jenin, 24 tons of flour, 38.5 tons of rice, 13.5 tons of sugar and 800 food parcels to Nablus, 24 tons of flour, 13.5 tons of rice and 13.5 tons of sugar to Hebron, 1.5 tons of flour to Aida camp. In addition to its ongoing services in the camps, UNWRA is also delivering emergency rations of tinned food to refugee populated villages in the West Bank, where local community committees will assist in the distribution. UNWRA has also delivered emergency food rations to Qalqilia Hospital.
During June, the ICRC delivered approximately 312 metric tones of food to some 33,000 beneficiaries in the Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Ramallah and Hebron areas.
Following a request from the Ministry of Health, AIDA members have organized a convoy to escort urgently needed medical supplies from the Nablus Directorate of Primary Health Care to villages in the Nablus governorate area. The MoH has stated that there are 320 villages in the West Bank to which its staff cannot gain access to deliver needed supplies.
The Temporary International Presence in Hebron, (TIPH) is co-operating with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in distributing food and medicines as Palestinian residents have been unable to move because of the curfew, and supplies were urgently needed..
PRCS is providing urgently needed relief items such as food, water and medicine to households, major hospitals and vulnerable groups. Ambulance movement remains restricted, as ambulance teams are stopped and searched, and in some cases back-to-back patient transfers are needed to move patients between localities.
On 26 June, the PRCS closely coordinated with the ICRC to transport doctors and supplies to Der Ibzeia, a village near Ramallah. PRCS also delivered medicine in Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin and Nablus. Medical supplies and relief items have arrived at PRCS HQ in Ramallah via ICRC trucks from Amman.
UNWRA has delivered medical supplies to Jalazone Camp Health Centre and to the Health Centre in Ein Sultan Camp in Jericho. The capacity of UNWRA's health's centre has been severely reduced this week due to curfew and closures.
For more information on health issues see: http://hart.itcoop-jer.org/
There are reports of damages from Israeli incursions in municipalities, but not on the same scale as occurred in April. The two cities most affected are Tulkarm and Jenin: maintenance crews in Jenin are able to work every day to repair damages while the curfew is lifted, Tulkarm crews are limited by shorter curfews breaks and a larger amount of damage. The Emergency Water Operation Centre (EWOC) is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis, and has already supplied supplies to selected municipalities to respond to new damage.
E-WaSH participants are currently conducting a comprehensive survey of the water and sanitation situation in villages in the West Bank, to alleviate emergency water and sanitation needs during this summer. The final survey results are expected to be released mid-July.
In Jenin, the final assessment of the total damage to housing, and awarding of contracts to clear the rubble is in its final stage, and work on clearing the site is anticipated to begin during the summer. Reconstruction will take considerable time because of the extent of the devastation and the large amount of unexploded ordinance (UXO) in the rubble. The reconstruction effort will employ local contractors, technical expertise and labour to the maximum extent possible, to benefit the local economy.
In the Gaza Strip, nine Palestinians were killed and 21 injured. The IDF leveled some 200 dunums of agricultural land around settlements in Beit Hanoun, Khan Yunis and Netzarim. Two houses were demolished and another three partially destroyed in Rafah.
Vehicular movement remains highly restricted. The crossing between Road No. 4 south of Gaza city and the by-pass road to Netzarim settlement has been closed since early May, with traffic diverted through the coastal road. The traffic between the central and southern parts of the Strip is channeled through Abu Houli checkpoint, all other roads being closed, causing long delays.
Restrictions remain especially tight for the 12,000 residents of the Mawassi area in the southern Gaza Strip. Those under 45 or 50 years of age are often not allowed to leave, causing serious difficulties for those students taking their final exams. Prohibitions on the entry of cooking gas and fuel have lad to serious shortages in these items. In the Seafa area in northern Gaza, the gate is opened only twice daily for entrance-exit purposes, placing severe restrictions on the movements of the 180 Palestinian residents.
Some 450 day labourers on average crossed into Israel with an additional 3,300 working in the Erez industrial zone.
Meetings next week:
Tuesday 02 July: AIDA membership meeting.
Wednesday 03 July, LACC Meeting.
OCHA, Jerusalem 28 June 2002