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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
21 September 2004


OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS

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 (15– 21 September 2004)

INSIDE: Casualties . Incidents involving ambulances . Curfew . House demolition/Demolition
orders\People displaced . Land levelling\requisitions . Closure\restrictions on movement .Access to
schools. Labour movement to Israel . Other . Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: deaths: 16, Injured: 121 (approx.)
Israelis: deaths: 0, Injured: 8 (approx.)

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, UNRWA, IDF website, Israeli MoFA.

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank
Denial of access: 4
Delay (30 minutes – 7 hours): 4
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 2

16 September/Jenin: A PRCS ambulance came under IDF gunfire en route to Jannat checkpoint to transport a sick person to a local Palestinian hospital. No injuries or damages reported. The ambulance could not reach the patient and had to turn back.
16 September/Jenin: A PRCS ambulance was stopped at Jannat checkpoint, while en route to transport a sick person to a local Palestinian hospital. The crew was subjected to a physical search. The ambulance was allowed to pass after a delay of one and a half hours.
17 September/Jenin: A PRCS ambulance was denied access by IDF soldiers while transporting a sick person from Yabad village to a local Palestinian hospital. The ambulance turned back, via Nablus road and also denied access. The ambulance crew then proceeded to Jannat checkpoint when it came under IDF gunfire. No injuries or damages were reported. It was allowed access at Jannat checkpoint after one and a half hours.
17 September/Nablus: A PRCS ambulance denied access by IDF soldiers at Huwwara checkpoint while en route to transport a sick person to a local Palestinian hospital in Jenin. The driver was forced and physically abused. The ambulance turned back and proceeded to Bet Iba checkpoint where it crossed after a delay of one hour.
17 September/Ar Ram: A PRCS ambulance transporting a British MP en route to Jerusalem was stopped at Ar Ram soldiers and denied access. An ambulance from Magen David Adom was contacted instead which arrived after one hours and 10 minutes.

Gaza:
Denial of access: See text below.
Delay (30 minutes – 7 hours): No incidents reported.
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: No incidents reported.

Male Palestinians aged 16 to 35, including patients and those with metal implants, are still not permitted to travel out of the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Terminal. The Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) reported that a large number of patients with medical referral documents for necessary treatment abroad continue to be denied access.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders/People Displaced

West Bank:
15 September: IDF demolished the first floor of a three-floor building in Habla, belonging to the suicide bomber who blew himself up near Jaljolia.
20 September: 30 Bedouin tents were removed by the IDF in the western part of Salfit town.


Gaza:
15 September: Seven houses were demolished in Al Mouragha area south east of Netzarim settlement; several other houses boundary walls were destroyed as well.
15 September: One house was demolished and another one partially destroyed in Al Salam quarter in Rafah.


5. Land levelling/Requisitions1

West Bank:
19 September up to date: The IDF uprooted olive trees and bulldozing land in Sikka village and northwest of Beit 'Awwa village, Hebron district, for the construction of the barrier.
21 September: Israeli settlers from Ma’on settlement, Hebron district, confiscated several dunums of land belonging to Yatta village.

Gaza:
15 September: 20 dunums of uprooted olive, citrus and grapes trees were levelled in Al Mouragha area south east Netzarim settlement.
17 September: 15 dunums of citrus trees were levelled north east of the Islamic cemetery in Jabalia.

Sources: OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, UNRWA, Village Council

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement

The IDF announced a total closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip on 8 September. The closure will be lifted after the Jewish holidays end on 25 September.

________________
1 4 dunums = 1 acre
2 For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please check the following link: http://www.reliefweb.int/hicopt/maps/Closure/mar/checkpoints_july04.pdf


Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
Preparation work for the Barrier construction in Al- Zawiya remains suspended following a decision from the Israeli High Court of Justice. Preparation work around Ariel is also suspended pending new court decision.
21 September: Tight restrictions were reported around Tulkarm area, related to a high alert in the area. Most of the checkpoints were closed.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
15 to 18 September: IDF closed Tayasir gate east of Tubas for all Palestinians. At the same time Palestinian plated cars were prohibited from using road 90 in the Jordan valley.
15 September: Several checkpoints were erected around Jenin city after the killing of five men in the city.
16 September: IDF dug a trench closing the road connecting Jenin city with Burqin village.
18 September: Major delays occurred for several hours at Shave Shamron check point northwest of Nablus

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorate:
New earth mounds erected by the IDF in the last month are still in place at the following villages: the main entrance to Al Janiya between Ras Karkar and Al Janiya, the western main entrance to Al Mughayyir, and the northern entrance to Deir 'Ammar.
21 September: The IDF placed Ramallah, Al Bireh and Beituniya towns under a strict closure throughout the night from around 8pm onwards. Flying checkpoints were set up on the main road at Sameeramis between Qalandiya camp and Ramallah/Al Bireh, and on the ‘Ein Arik road outside Beituniya. There were long delays at Qalandiya checkpoint for all vehicles entering and leaving Ramallah.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
IDF mobile checkpoints have been observed frequently at the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya/Ma’ale Adumim settlement, resulting in long lines of cars waiting to get through.
16 September: IDF forces deployed a mobile checkpoint in Nabi Samwil. Palestinians were held back for several hours.
16 September: The “Container” checkpoint was closed for several hours, leaving Palestinians waiting on both sides of the checkpoint.

Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier continued this week along the main road (60) between Qalandiya and Ar - Ram checkpoints.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is going on in Bet Duqqu, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim. In Biddu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik construction is still on halt.
East: Construction of the Barrier is continuing in An Nu’man, Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sur Baher, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya. Construction is nearly completed from Mt. Of Olives to the hill just south of Al Quds University in Abu Dis.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
The tight closure in the Governorate of Hebron continued for the third week with crossing points on bypass roads 35, 60, 356 and 317 manned by flying checkpoints or completely restricted.
Checkpoints in the southern part of the Governorate have been removed and moved closer to the Green Line. The urban area of Yatta and the Palestinian villages enclosed by the bypass road system remain closed. Access difficulties are experienced by international humanitarian organisations, particularly the Palestinian staff moving in and out of the city of Hebron at the Ras Al Joura check point.
Bethlehem was also placed under external closure due to the Israeli holiday period and is expected to remain so until 25 September. Movement of Palestinians into Israel was denied in both Governorates at Green Line checkpoints. An increase in number of flying check points was observed during the reporting period.
15 Sep. - to date: The two gates on Halhul Bridge, Hebron district, are still closed for the third week, preventing the movement of both vehicles and pedestrians in/out of Hebron city.
15 Sep. - to date: The gate at the main entrance into Dura at the Al Fawwar-Dura junction, in Hebron district, remains closed to all Palestinian traffic and is open only to the UN and humanitarian organisations. The entrance into Al Fawwar camp, on the other side of the junction, remains shut by concrete blocks.
18 Sep: The IDF closed the entrance into Bani Na'im from route 60 (Jalajel) in Hebron district.

The enclosed areas in the Gaza strip:
As Seafa: Since 22 April 2004 the IDF has allowed only 3-4 people with As-Seafa IDs to go in and out on foot, for one time only, with prior coordination, to bring food in. These people are permitted to exit and enter through the gate at two irregular periods: approximately 06:30 to 08:30 and from approximately 14:00 to 16:30. No vehicles are permitted to enter or exit. Coordination for international organisations to enter the area has been extremely problematic. Al-Mawassi: IDF restrictions remain, with the entry-exit gate at Al Tuffah checkpoint generally opening twice daily for limited numbers of Al Mawassi ID holders from approximately 08.00 to 13.00 and from approximately 14.30 to 17.00. Since 10 May 2004, males aged below 30 years who are Al Mawassi ID holders, have been required to have prior coordination to pass though Al Tuffah checkpoint. Since 06 June 2004, prior coordination has been required for unmarried females with Al Mawassi ID who are aged 18-25. Vehicles are not allowed to pass, with some exceptions given for international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF. Kfar Darom: The Palestinian area adjacent to Kfar Darom settlement was declared a Closed Military Zone following a suicide attack on 27 February 2004. Since 20 July 2002 no vehicular movement has been allowed in and out of the area and the IDF erected a fence around the area. Movement is restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate generally opening four times daily for Al Maa’ni ID holders only from 06:30 to 07:30, 10:30 to 11:30, 13:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 17:00. Access for international organisations into the area remains extremely problematic.

Source: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA


7. Access to schools:

West Bank:
Daily, hundreds of school pupils from Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya (Jerusalem) are experiencing great difficulty in crossing the gate in the Barrier near Ras al ‘Amud to reach their schools in East Jerusalem. The gate is manned by Border Police and only Palestinians with valid permits or Jerusalem IDs are technically allowed to cross. Several flying checkpoints are also in operation on the road to East Jerusalem especially during the morning rush hours. Schools in several Palestinian Jerusalem neighbourhoods are becoming overcrowded because many pupils have been forced to change schools due to Barrier construction.
15 September: Classes were cancelled in all schools and universities for one day in Nablus city to mourn the casualties of the day.
15 September - to date: In Hebron district, delays of school and University teachers and students were experienced on Beit 'Einun, Dura Al Fawwar junction and on the main internal road between Hebron and Dura.
15 September - to date: Students from Jerusalem studying in Bethlehem University were denied access at the Gilo checkpoint due to movement restriction imposed by the IDF during the Israeli Holiday period.
19-21 September: School pupils in Beit ‘Ur at Tahta, Ramallah district, have been unable to reach their primary schools in the village and the nearby secondary school in Saffa due to the curfew in the village.
21 September: Several teachers were at first delayed for at the Azzun Attma gate. The teachers were according to the IDF soldiers at the gate not on the “passing list”.

Gaza:
20 September: All As Seafa pupils were not able to attend their schools as the IDF closed the gate.
As a result of IDF shooting, one of UNRWA Khan Younis Schools was exposed to gunfire, resulting in damage to the water tanks located on the roof of the building.

8. Labour movement to Israel
All Palestinian travel, labour and trader permits have been suspended for 10 days during the Jewish high holidays from 15 to 25 September.

West Bank:
Jericho:
Gaza:
A total of 5,166 permits have been issued for workers and 226 permits for traders aged 35 and above including 2,000 permits to stay overnight. However, no workers and/or traders were allowed to enter due to the closure.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO

9. Other:

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
15 September: At 3:30am IDF surrounded several buildings including a monastery in the western side of Nablus city. At 4:30am exchange of fire took place in the area and five Palestinians were killed. At 8:30 a 11 year old girl was shot in the same area. Clashes happened in the city during the morning hours and 27 Palestinians were injured. At 11:00am IDF bulldozed the wall of the surrounded building. At 1:30pm helicopter fired shells into the area.
15 September: At 12:30pm a undercover IDF unit entered the industrial zone in Jenin, killing four Palestinian in a vehicle.
17 September: At 7:00am IDF entered the main square in Nablus clashing with Palestinian stone throwers. A 19 year old woman was killed in the northern mountain as a result of the shooting.
18 September: IDF entered Nablus city clashing with Palestinian stone throwers. Three Palestinians were injured.
20 September: IDF entered Balata refugee camp and clashed with Palestinian stone throwers. A 14 year old boy was injured.
21 September: IDF entered Ras Al Ein, Balata camp and Asira Qibliya, all Nablus district, opened fire and conducted search and arrest operations. Two Palestinians were reported injured.
21 September: Israeli settlers attacked and seriously injured a Palestinian man in Bet Furik, Nablus district.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
IDF forces have conducted military operations and search campaign throughout the week in all three governorates.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
Throughout the week, IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Beit ‘Ur at Tahta, Kafr ‘Ein and Ramallah. At least 6 Palestinian males were arrested.
15 September: Nine Palestinian refugee children were injured, three seriously, when an unidentified object exploded while they were playing on the main Nablus road above Al Jalazun refugee camp, north Ramallah at around 7pm.
15 September: At around 9pm, three Palestinian males were stopped by an IDF patrol in eastern Al Bireh near the City Inn and reportedly severely beaten by soldiers. The three Palestinians were hospitalized in Ramallah with serious injuries.
19 September: An IDF patrol fired tear gas grenades at the Beituniya Secondary Girl’s School during the lunch break at 10.30am when the pupils were in the playground. There were no serious injuries, however many pupils were affected by gas inhalation.
20 September: Villagers in Budrus held a demonstration in the morning when they saw Israeli bulldozers in an olive grove west of the village about to start uprooting trees for new Barrier construction. The IDF fired tear gas grenades at the demonstrators. The Israeli DCL arrived in the village and instructed the bulldozers to halt work and leave. No injuries were reported.
21 September: Budrus villagers held a demonstration to protest new Barrier construction on village lands. At least 26 Palestinians were injured, though none seriously, from IDF tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. Three Israeli activists were arrested and four soldiers were injured from stones.

Jerusalem
18 September: Palestinian gunmen shot at the Har Homa settlement, south of Jerusalem. No injuries reported. The IDF conducted a search operation in the area after the shooting.

Hebron/Bethlehem
15 September - to date: Settlers from Tel Rumeideh in the old city of Hebron attacked Palestinian residents and their houses near the settlement with stones and empty bottles: no injuries were reported.
19 September: Confrontations took place between the IDF and children in 'Ayda camp, Bethlehem district, two children aged 14 and 16 were injured.
19 September: More than 300 Palestinian residents and 40 peace activists held a demonstration against the construction of the barrier in Beit 'Awwa and Sikka, Hebron district. 8 Palestinians, 4 Israeli Border Police were injured and many persons suffered from gas inhalation.

Gaza
Among those killed this week, 3 people were killed in targeted helicopter missile attacks on 19 and 20 September.

Sources: OCHA FCUs, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCLs, Palestinian Governors’ offices, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, IDF

END







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