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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
27 January 2004



P.O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem
Phone: (972) 2 – 5829962 / 5825853, Fax: (972) 2 – 5825841
ochaopt@un.org, www.ochaopt.org

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (21 - 27 January 2004)
INSIDEINSIDE: Incursions in Abu Ubeida Street in Southern part of Nablus -- Casualties -- Incidents involving ambulances -- Curfew -- House demolition -- Land levelling/confiscation -- Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement -- Access to Schools -- Labour movement to Israel -- Other incidents


1. Incursion in Abu Ubeida Street in south western part of Nablus

22 January: At 0545 IDF entered the Abu Ubaida Street in the south western part of Nablus with APCs and armoured jeeps, surrounding houses in the area and forcing the residents to leave for a near by garage. All men aged between 15 and 55 were handcuffed. Following this, IDF turned its operation to the Akouba building and called for a wanted Palestinian to surrender, believing he was inside the building. At 0935 IDF bulldozer entered Nablus heading for the surrounded area, where IDF had started firing rounds at the Akouba building. Upon arrival, the bulldozer started pushing cars from the street down on houses located in the slope below. At 1100 IDF announced that the wanted Palestinian has to surrender within 30 minutes, threatening to demolish the house if he does not. At 1200 the bulldozer started severing the surrounding wall of the building, before commencing demolishing the front wall of the building itself, despite the fact that one family was still inside. The bulldozer paused in order for the family to leave to the nearby garage with the other families. At 1500 IDF entered the building and discovered that there was no one inside. At 1600 IDF ordered the residents of the area to evacuate their houses as the Akouba building was to be demolished, and special troops started implanting explosives inside in preparation of imploding the structure. At 1712 IDF the four storey building was demolished in a blast shaking all of Nablus city causing extensive damage to several other buildings. The Akouba building housed 6 families (35 to 40 persons). The explosion caused severe damages to 20 other houses in the area. At 1800 IDF pulled out from the city, arresting the brother of the wanted Palestinian, who was not wanted by the IDF.

2. Casualties
Palestinians: 4 deaths, 55 injured
Israelis:
0 deaths, 0 injured

3. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access: 2 incidents (in one incident the ambulance was denied access at Beit Iba checkpoint when it was transporting a child who suffered from epilepsy).
Delay (1-2 hrs.): 6 incidents
Harassment/Abuse of medical crew: 1 incident

25 January: Hebron (Bani Na'em village): A PRCS ambulance was transporting an elderly patient to her home in Al-Aroub Refugee Camp after undergoing hospital treatment. Israeli soldiers stopped the ambulance at the entrance of the refugee camp and initially denied it access. At this point, the Israeli soldiers began searching the ambulance, and one of the soldiers threatened the crew that they would be shot if they did not follow orders. The soldier then ordered the ambulance driver to drive into the camp very slowly without turning on the siren. As the ambulance entered the camp, the crew was taken by surprise as three Israeli soldiers jumped onto the back of the ambulance. The driver was obliged to continue driving further into the camp when suddenly the soldiers began to fire at the direction of camp residents and then proceeded to chase them.

4. Curfews

Curfews were reported in the following locations: al 'Arroub Refugee Camp (3 days), al Mazra'a ash Sharqiya (1day).

5. House demolitions/Demolition Orders

DATELOCATIONCompletely DemolishedPartially DemolishedDamaged
21/01/2004Rafah310
22/01/2004Jalabun1 house (under construction), 1 brick factory and 1 sheep cot00
22/01/2004Nablus1 (4-storey building)020
24/01/2004Rafah1 (3-storey building)00
TOTAL6 (including a 4-storey building in Nablus and a 3-storey building in Rafah), 1 brik factory and 1 sheep cot120

6. Land levelling/confiscation


Gaza:

Date
Area
(dunums)
Acres
Crop
21//01/2004
Gaza North (Beit Lahiya)
2
0.5
Potatoes
25/01/2004
Deir al Balah
15
3.75
Guava
26/01/2004
Deir al Balah
15
3.75
Wheat
26/01/2004
Deir al Balah
6
1.5
26/01/2004
Deir al Balah
45
11.25
Olive, citrus and Guava
26/01/2004
Khan Yunis (al Qararrah area)
25
6.25
TOTAL
108
27
7. Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Barrier/Restrictions on movement

- Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates:


- Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:


- Ramallah/al-Bireh/Beituniya governorates:


- Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:

- Bethlehem/Hebron governorates:

The enclosed areas:
8. Access to schools
9. Labour movement to Israel

West Bank:
Gaza

10. Other incidents:

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates
Ramallah/Al-Bireh/Beituniya governorates:
Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
Gaza
(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, UHHC, Governors’ office, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)

END

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