The number of Palestinian detainees is now stated at approximately 7500 and continues to rise.
Some 33 West Bank locations are currently under curfew. 3,200,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to face severe movement restrictions.
The Israeli Defense Force's (IDF) operation "Determined Path" is now entering its seventh week. Early this week, the Israeli Government announced that it would ease the curfew regime that has now lasted for more than 40 days in the largest cities in the West Bank. This week there has been no curfew in Qalqilia and only a night curfew in Hebron. By contrast in Nablus and Bethlehem the curfew was only lifted once. In Nablus the people of the city defied the curfew and went onto the streets on 29 July; the IDF did not intervene and did not try to enforce the curfew.
The lifting of curfews remains sporadic and is not announced adequately in advance, thus significantly impacting on employment, health services and daily life of the population and making it impossible for humanitarian agencies to plan ahead.
Lack of access is still the main constraint faced by all service providers in the oPt, both international and Palestinian. The elaborate network of road blocks and checkpoint continue to isolate village from the main urban areas, thus hindering rural population's access to vital services. Likewise, services providers' access to their beneficiaries remains severely hampered.
The Israeli Government announced that it would increase the number of work permits granted to Palestinians to 12,000. This, however, is only a small portion of what Palestinian labourers used to receive prior to the outbreak of Intifada (compared to some 53,000 permits issued to Palestinians on a monthly basis between January and September 2000).
The week in Gaza has been marked by a number of incidents in the northern and southern parts of the Strip. Four Palestinians were killed and another 19 injured in various incidents.
In Gaza, 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. Traffic between the central and southern parts of the Strip is channeled through Abu Houli checkpoint, all other roads being closed. Traffic through the checkpoint has improved recently, although it often remains difficult to cross as priority is given to the IDF and settlers.
The number of workers allowed into Israel on a daily basis has remained at approximately 1650, mainly in agriculture. Male workers must be over 30 years of age with a family: women, over 25 years old and also with a family. The number of workers at the Erez industrial zone has increased slightly to approximately 3,000 per day.
In the northern enclave of Seafa (between the settlement of Dugit and Eli Sinai), entry through the gate is limited to four hours a day: from 6.30 to 8.30am and from 2 to 4pm daily.
Restrictions remain especially tight for the 12,000 residents of the Mawassi area in the southern Gaza Strip with those under 45 years of age forbidden to leave the area.
Click here to view the map of West Bank localities currently under curfew.
UNWRA Field Office in Jerusalem reports that their operations in the West Bank continue to be disrupted due to curfews, closures and permits restrictions.
UNRWA Field Office in Jerusalem delivered 450 emergency rations and 23 tons of food commodities to Dura; 7 tons of food commodities to pregnant and nursing women in Deir Ammar camp; 24 tons of flour, 13 tons of rice and 13 tons of milk to Hebron; 249 food parcels to Nablus, 12 tons of flour and 4 tons of food commodities to Beit Inan and Beit Surik; 45 tons of food commodities and 1000 emergency rations and 54 tons of food commodities to Amari camp; 1000 emergency rations to Arroub camp, and 663 bags of flour and 1930 food parcels to Balata camp.
WFP's Food for Work program starting next week, will cover 12.500 families in the West Bank and Gaza. The implementing partner is the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC). In addition, distribution of emergency rations through Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is expected to start within a week and will cover 4,000 families in Gaza and another 6,000 in the West Bank. This comes in addition to WFP's ongoing distribution through the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) in Gaza.
WFP is in the process of recruiting new Food Aid monitors in the West Bank and Gaza in order to enhance monitoring of food security both at household level and at distribution centers.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) is gravely concerned at reports indicating that almost 100 % of tankered water delivered in the West Bank is contaminated. MoH reports problem with contaminated water in Balata and Askar camp due to the destruction of both water network and sewage pipelines by IDF tanks in these localities, causing the sewage flow into the water pipeline.
Distribution of chlorine to clean the water is reportedly hampered by the closures and curfews making it severely difficult for MoH staff to reach out to the affected localities without help from international organizations.
Preliminary results released from a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) survey reveal that some 250,000 children under the age of 6 suffer from chronic malnutrition. Of the 5,228 households surveyed, 63.8% reported difficulties in obtaining food supplies during the Intifada due to movement restrictions and loss of income. (See full report on www.reliefweb.int/hic-opt/)