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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
14 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 (8 – 14 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: 14 deaths, 96 injured
Israelis: 0 deaths, 5 injured

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank
Denial of access: None reported
Delay (30 minutes – 7 hours): 5
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: None reported

8 September: A Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance was delayed 30 minutes at the Ar Ram checkpoint.
In Tulkarm governorate, ambulance movement was severely restricted by the IDF’s strict closure in the area in order to leave Tulkarm, ambulances had to travel on dirt tracks because all checkpoints were closed and other access roads had been closed by earth mounds or gates.
14 September: The main entrance to Qalqiliya city was closed after a suicide bombing near the Jaljoulia checkpoint in the morning. Most ambulances were unable to leave Qalqiliya even with prior coordination with the IDF.

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

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.
9 September: A PRCS ambulance was unable to reach an injured Palestinian in Jabalia when it came under IDF fire on As Sikka Street. The ambulance’s windscreen was shattered. No casualties among the ambulance crew were reported.
9 September: A PRCS ambulance was unable to evacuate a patient in Izbat Beit Hanoun after an IDF tank shell landed near the ambulance.
10 September: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for longer than seven hours at the Sheikh Zayid housing project. The ambulance crew was trying to evacuate injured people from As Sikka Street east of Jabalia refugee camp.
10 September: A Palestinian woman gave birth at Al Tuffah checkpoint in a PRCS ambulance. The ambulance was delayed for one hour.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews

Curfew was reported in the following locations:



4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders/People Displaced

West Bank:
8 September: Twenty-four Palestinians were rendered homeless when the IDF demolished a two-storey building (consisting of five apartments belonging to the same family) in Wadi Al Hariyya, Hebron. In the early morning, the IDF surrounded the building to arrest one family member. An exchange of fire took place and the “wanted” Palestinian surrendered after being injured. Two Israeli soldiers were also injured.


Gaza:
8 to 10 September: On 9 September, IDF bulldozers demolished a house and damaged boundary walls on As Sikka Street east of the Jabalia refugee camp. In total, 15 houses were demolished and 30 refugee shelters were partially destroyed in Beit Lahia town and Jabalia refugee camp during the IDF incursion into the area. Damage was also reported at three UNRWA schools: the Izbat Beit Hanoun Preparatory Boys’, Jabalia Preparatory “B” Boys’, and the Jabalia Elementary “C”. The IDF bulldozed a Palestinian Authority National Guard base. Palestinian Authority schools were also damaged, as was the infrastructure in the area - two mosques, two factories/workshops and five vehicles, including an UNRWA car parked outside a staff member’s house.


5. Land levelling/Requisitions1

West Bank:
7 September: The IDF and Israeli authorities damaged a boundary fence around 5 dunums (.5 hectares) of land belonging to Palestinians from Al Buweib village, Hebron district.
9 to 14 September: The IDF uprooted more than 350 olive trees and bulldozed land in Sikka village and northwest of Beit 'Awwa village, Hebron district for the construction of the Barrier.

Gaza:
8 to 10 September: The IDF levelled 20 dunums (2 hectares) of olive and almond trees east of Al Qarara (south of the Kissufim Israeli settlers’ road), and 68 dunums (6.8 hectares) of olive trees and other agricultural land in the Jabalia refugee camp and Beit Lahia areas, north Gaza.

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 high holidays endon 25 September.

_____________
1 4 dunums = 1 acre
2For 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:
The main access roads into Tulkarm, the Kafryat checkpoint and the Taybe and Anabta gates were closed with earth mounds, as were other roads connecting Kafryat, Shufhi and Beit Lid villages.
14 September: The Qalqiliya DCO checkpoint was closed after a Palestinian suicide bombing occurred near Jaljoulia checkpoint. The Habla gate and the tunnel connecting Habla village with Qalqiliya city was only open for 15 minutes during the day, according to the local municipality. The gate at Azzoun Atma was closed for about one hour.
According to the Israeli DCL, the opening hours for the agricultural gates will be extended during Ramadan and the coinciding olive season in October. Three gates in the Qafeen area will be open for the olive harvest and farmers will be able to apply for green permits, which will be valid for six months. The Palestinian DCL confirmed that the Qafeen and Jabara gates will be open from 1 to 15 October.
During the week there was an increase in the number of flying checkpoints on the main roads between villages and towns in the Qalqiliya, Tulkarm and Salfit governorates.
Barrier construction in Az Zawiya remains suspended, as does work around Ariel settlement pending decisions from the Israeli High Court of Justice.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
9 September: The IDF closed Huwwara checkpoint for two hours in the afternoon and prevented Palestinians from crossing the checkpoint from either direction.
11 September: A flying checkpoint was set up on Road 90 near Bardala village. All Palestinian-plated cars were prohibited from travelling on the road regardless of whether the drivers had permits.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorate:
8 September: At 12.20pm, Qalandiya checkpoint was closed for two hours and long delays were reported.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
8 September: Between 5pm and 7pm, the IDF closed the road gate at Ras Kubsa junction at the entrance to Izariya, Abu Dis and Alsawahreh, preventing hundreds of Palestinians, including students, from crossing the gate in either direction.
8 September: At around 11.30pm, the IDF, with some 25 jeeps and an apache helicopter, carried out a search-and-arrest campaign in Jericho. Fourteen Palestinians were arrested. During the campaign, an IDF patrol raided an internet café. In an exchange of fire, one Palestinian was killed and three were injured. According to the IDF, the Palestinian who was killed was on their “wanted” list and was from Al ‘Amari refugee camp in Ramallah.
10 September: The IDF imposed a strict closure on Jericho town and Palestinian residents were prohibited from leaving the town. Jerusalem residents were not allowed to enter the town and only Palestinian West Bank residents travelling to Jordan, medical staff and staff of international organisations could enter.

Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
A-Ram Barrier: Most of the concrete blocks for the Barrier were erected down the middle of the main Road (60) from Ar Ram junction to the south near Dahiyat Al Bareed.
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 the Mt. of Olives to the hill south of Al Quds University in Abu Dis. Gaps still exist from the Mt. of Olives to Ras al Kubsa and there is a 75-metre gap opposite Al Quds University in Abu Dis.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier continues to be suspended in Beit Ijza and Al Qubeiba, but construction has started again in Beit Duqqu, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim.

Hebron/Bethlehem
Following the bus bombings in Be’er Sheva two weeks ago, Hebron governorate continues to be under tight closure with crossing points on bypass Roads 60, 356 and 317 - manned by flying checkpoints or completely restricted. International humanitarian organisations, particularly Palestinian staff, have had access difficulties moving in and out of Hebron city at the Ras Al Joura checkpoint. Access was totally prevented on 14 September. There was unrestricted travel between Bethlehem and Hebron.
8 to 14 September: The IDF erected an earth mound on the Halhul Bridge 50 meters from the two gates on the Halhul side. A path through the gate was closed by barbed wire preventing the movement of vehicles and pedestrians out of Hebron city.
8 September: The IDF erected a new observation tower on the route of the Barrier near the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) water reservoir in Al Khas village, Bethlehem district.
8 September: The IDF opened the gate at An Nabi Younes, the main entrance into Halhul, Hebron district.
9 September: The IDF opened the gate at the entrance of Beit Ummar town, Hebron district.
10 September: The IDF opened a path through the earth mound on the main internal road between Hebron city and Dura in order to facilitate access for UN and humanitarian organisations.

The enclosed areas in Gaza:
As Seafa: Since 22 April 2004, the IDF has allowed only a couple of people with As Seafa IDs to go in and out on foot, for one time only, with prior coordination, in order to bring food in. These people are permitted to exit and enter through the gate from approximately 6.30am to 8.30am and from approximately 2pm to 4.30pm. However, opening hours remain irregular. 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 open twice daily for limited numbers of Al Mawassi ID holders from approximately 8am to 1pm and from approximately 2.30pm to 5.00pm. Since 10 May 2004, males below 30 years of age who are Al Mawassi ID holders have been required to have prior coordination to pass though Al Tuffah checkpoint. Since 6 June 2004, prior coordination has been required for unmarried females with Al Mawassi ID who are between the ages of 18 and 25. Vehicles are not allowed to pass, with some exceptions 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 traffic 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 open four times daily for Al Maa’ni ID holders only from 6.30am to 7.30am, 10.30am to 11.30am, 1pm to 2pm and 4pm to 5pm. Access for international organisations into the area remains problematic.

Source: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA


7. Access to schools:

West Bank:
In Hebron district, delays of school and university students were experienced on Beit 'Einun, Dura Al Fawwar junction and on the main internal road between Hebron and Dura.
8 September: The IDF fired tear gas canisters near the UNRWA Basic Girls School in 'Ayda refugee camp, Bethlehem district, 150 pupils suffered from tear gas inhalation.
11 September: Students in Asira ash Shamalyia (Nablus) were unable to reach their schools because of the curfew imposed on the village.
14 September: Students from the Um ar Rihan area, who study outside the enclave, were not able to reach their schools on time because the Barta'a, Um ar Rihan and Imreiha gates were closed until 10am.
13 September: Jabara students were unable to reach their schools in certain areas because of the IDF closure in the Tulkarm area. School buses were held up for longer than one hour inside Jabara village until United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was able to coordinate access with Israeli DCL to let the students enter through the agricultural gate. The gate has been operating as a school gate, although the IDF considers it an agricultural gate. In ‘Azzun ‘Atma pupils and teachers were delayed for an hour when the gate was closed after the suicide bombing near Jaljoulia checkpoint. Nur Shams students were unable to go to school because of a military operation inside the refugee camp, which began early in the morning.
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 which is necessary 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.

Gaza:
Students from the middle and southern Gaza Strip were unable to attend universities in Gaza city due to the IDF closures from 8 to 11 September. Eleven out of 24 school pupils from As Seafa area in the north were forced to stay with relatives living outside As Seafa in order to get to their schools in nearby Beit Lahia.

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:
Out of a total quota of 300 Palestinian commercial trade permits for Jericho governorate, Israel approved approximately 200 from mid-July to mid-September.

Gaza:
A total of 5,166 permits have been issued for workers and 226 permits for traders aged 35 and older, including 2,000 permits to stay overnight in Israel. However, no Palestinian workers and traders were allowed to enter Israel.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO

9. Other:

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
8 September: Six residential buildings in Nablus were occupied and used as IDF observation points. Palestinian residents were prevented from leaving their buildings and having contact with anyone from outside for four hours.
13 September: At 5.20pm, two people were killed in an IDF apache helicopter air strike on Jenin city.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
14 September: The IDF imposed a curfew and carried out a major incursion into Nur Shams refugee camp at around 4am. Hundreds of Palestinian males were detained in the UNRWA camp services compound.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
9 September: At around 11.30am, one person from Al Am’ari refugee camp was killed when an IDF jeep ran over him at the main entrance to the camp. On the same day, a commercial mourning strike was observed in Ramallah/Al Bireh.
9 September: At around 2am, the IDF carried out a search campaign in Qalandiya refugee camp and one Palestinian male was detained. And at 9.30pm, two Palestinians were injured when an IDF patrol opened fire during a search campaign in Silwad.
13 September: The IDF entered and searched the UNRWA Men’s Vocational Training Centre in Ramallah at around midnight. During the three-hour operation, the soldiers questioned many of the students and some were given summonses to go to Ofer military detention camp for interviews. The IDF also searched a building in Ramallah at around midnight and arrested two Palestinian males.

Jerusalem
13 September: Twelve Palestinian students were injured near the Ar Ram checkpoint when clashes broke out between the IDF and demonstrators protesting the construction of the Barrier.
The Israeli Police closed six Palestinian offices in East Jerusalem, which were being used as voter registration centres for Palestinians who want to participate in the forthcoming Palestinian Authority municipal elections. Four Palestinian women employees were arrested and documents from the offices were confiscated.

Hebron
8 September: The IDF opened fire at pedestrians on Halhul Bridge, Hebron district. Five Palestinians were injured.

Gaza
8 September: The IDF launched a new offensive in the northern Gaza Strip with a large number of tanks and armoured vehicles, supported by helicopters. They took up positions overlooking Jabalia refugee camp and town, Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun. All routes to the northern Erez Terminal were blocked with IDF vehicles. Heavy shelling from tanks, helicopters and exchange of fire between the IDF and armed Palestinians made any movement out of Gaza extremely hazardous. UN and most international NGO staff were unable to carry out humanitarian operations and move in and out of Gaza between 8 and 11 September. UNRWA operations throughout the Gaza Strip were severely hampered by the IDF operations in the north and by the IDF-imposed internal closures, which again divided the Gaza Strip into three. UNRWA was able to resume humanitarian operations on 11 September after the IDF withdrew from the Jabalia area.

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

END






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