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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
19 October 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 (13 - 19 October 2004)

INSIDEINSIDE: Casualties -- Incidents involving ambulances -- Curfew -- House demolition/Demolition orders/People displaced -- Land levelling/Requisitions -- Closures/restrictions on movement -- Access to schools -- Labour movement to Israel -- Other -- Appendix

1. Casualties

Palestinians: Deaths: 25; Injured: 82 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 1; Injured: 3

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank
Denial of access: 1
Delay (30 minutes): 0
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

Gaza:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 0
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:



Sources: OCHA FCU, Village Councils, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL

4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced

West Bank:
13 October: Eleven persons lost accommodation after the IDF demolished a house in Hebron city where a “wanted” Hamas leader was allegedly hidden. The house belonged to the father in law of the “wanted” man.
13 October: A one-storey house, shelter for one family, was demolished in Jalbun village east of Jenin. The IDF called for the owner of the house, a “wanted man”, to surrender. The man was not present before demolition began. The inhabitants were not given time to evacuate belongings. When trying to remove some of the furniture from the demolished house, the brother of the owner was injured and transported to a hospital in Jenin.
14 October: Nine persons lost accommodation after the IDF demolished a house in Hebron old city. The house belonged to the father of the Be‘er Sheva suicide bomber. Four neighbouring houses were also partially destroyed during the demolition operation.




Gaza:
13 October: The IDF demolished 29 houses and partially destroyed five houses in Block J and Al Barahma area in Rafah.
15 October: The IDF demolished two two-storey houses in the area west of Brazil quarter in Rafah.
16 October: The IDF demolished four houses in Block O west of Brazil quarter in Rafah.



Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1

West Bank:
14 October: The IDF uprooted 11 olive and fig trees near Road 505 belonging to a resident of Marda village, Salfit district, under the pretext that children throw stones from the area at military jeeps.
16 October (ongoing): Israeli contractors guarded by IDF and security guards started levelling land for the construction of the Barrier in Beit Mirsim village, Hebron district.

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

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
• In Tulkarm Governorate, the IDF maintained the restricted movement on the local populations by manning all parts of the Kafriat checkpoint and only allowing vehicles through if the occupants had special permits. In general, only residents of Jbara and Shufa have been able to cross the checkpoint in their own vehicle without needing a special permit.
• The IDF, on 13 October, imposed restricted movement on the local population in Qalqiliya town following a security alert, which lasted the whole week. The restriction also resulted in a closure of the tunnel between Habla and Qalqiliya town. The DCO checkpoint has been manned and everyone has to be checked. Vehicles are also checked.
• At Jaljoulia checkpoint a gate has been installed between the two ends of the Barrier on each side of Road 55 enabling the IDF to physically close the checkpoint.
• In Salfit district, the movement between the villages continues to be hampered by the existence of roadblocks and earth mounds, and the restrictions to travel on the main roads. The roadblock at Yasuf village east of Salfit town was temporary removed by the IDF some two weeks ago to allow trucks to enter in conjunction with the rehabilitation of the road between Salfit town and Iskaka. The IDF has informed the Palestinian DCL that the roadblock will be back in place 23 October. Meanwhile, the IDF controls the movement through a flying checkpoint, which has been present under the bridge between Iskaka and Salfit town since the removal of the roadblock.
• Barrier Gates:
Opening hours remain erratic - which is somewhat due to the fact that the same military jeep is responsible for opening multiple gates that have the same opening hours. Despite three announced opening hours, the IDF rarely opens the gate at the announced mid-day hours unless farmers are waiting. In general, farmers report that opening hours are in conflict with the celebration of Ramadan as last hours are too late and mid-day hours are too early to return from harvest.
_______________
1 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare
2 For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please check the following link: http://www.reliefweb.int/hicopt/maps/Closure/mar/checkpoints_july04.pdf


Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
14 to 15 October: The IDF closed Tayasir checkpoint east of Tubas for all Palestinians (including permit holders). Palestinians teachers were an exception. The northern Jordan Valley was announced a closed military area two months ago.
16 October: Two flying checkpoints were erected on Road 60 near Sarra and As Sawiya villages.
16 October: The IDF closed the southern entrance of Balata refugee camp with earth mounds.
17 October: Delays occurred at Shave Shomeron checkpoint west of Nablus.
17 October: A flying checkpoint was erected near Sarra junction west of Nablus.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorate:
15 and 16 October: The IDF closed An Nabi Salih gate and imposed curfews on Beit Rima and Deir Ghasana. Palestinians from the rest of the Bani Zeid cluster (An Nabi Salih, Kafr ‘Ein and Qarawat Bani Zeid) used the longer route via ‘Ajjul to travel to Ramallah.
17 October: At about midnight, the IDF closed the road between Umm Safa and Deir as Sudan with an earth mound. This is the only vehicle access road out of the village since the other two roads (connecting the village with Road 465) are still closed with earth mounds, road blocks and a trench.
18 October: At around 3.30pm, the Israeli Border Police set up a flying checkpoint near Kharbatha al Misbah underpass (under Highway 443). Residents from the Beit Liqya cluster were unable to reach their homes in time for the “Iftar,” breaking of the fast.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
• IDF mobile checkpoints function on a daily basis at the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya/Ma’ale Adumim settlement resulting in long lines of cars waiting to pass.
• IDF mobile checkpoints at the junctions of Road 1/ Road 437 and Al ‘Eizariya/Ma’ale Adumim have stopped Palestinian vehicular movement on Road 1for several hours every Saturday after Shabath.
15 October: Palestinians West Bank ID card holders older than 60 years of age were allowed access to Al Aqsa.
• Jericho residents and Jerusalemites as well as internationals can enter and leave the city by vehicles and without permits. Other West Bank Palestinians need a permit. The opening hours of the checkpoint have been extended until 12am due to Ramadan.

Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar - Ram checkpoints. Land levelling for the Barrier is also taking place alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages.
East: Construction of the Barrier is continuing in Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, 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. Barrier construction in Sur Bahir is still on halt.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in Bet Duqqu, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim. In Biddu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik, construction is still on halt.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
• The closure on Hebron Governorate was eased on 13 October after the arrest of Imad Qawasmeh, the head of the Hamas militant group in Hebron district. The main entrances, junctions and gates to the urban area of Hebron and Yatta have been re-opened. Halhul bridge and the tunnel under the bypass Road 35, which connects Hebron to Beit Kahil, are open 24 hours a day. Gates at the entrance of Beit Ummar, and into Idhna and Tarqumiya at the junction with the bypass Road 35 and the gates at Al Fawwar Dura junction are all open from 7am to 5pm. The checkpoint established on the main internal road between Hebron and Dura was removed, and IDF soldiers left a house they were occupying. The eastern access to Yatta from the bypass Road 317, at Zif gate, is also open.
• In the Governorate of Bethlehem restrictions on access to Israel/Jerusalem remain tight – particulary those applitd on the first Friday of Ramadan, 15 October.
15 October: A gate has been set up at the entrance of the Palestinian village of Surif at the turn from bypass Road 367.
15 October: Access for Muslim worshippers wishing to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan at Gilo checkpoint was only allowed to Palestinians over 60 years of age.

The enclosed areas in the Gaza strip:
As Seafa: Since 22 April 2004, the IDF has allowed only three to four 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 6.30am to 8.30am and from approximately 2pm to 4.30pm. No vehicles are permitted to enter or exit. Coordination for international organisations to enter the area has been extremely problematic.
• As-Seafa gate was opened at irregular times during this week. From 14 October, IDF delayed the morning opening hours. As a result, the 24 students living in the area were not able to arrive at school on time.
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 8am to 1pm and from approximately 2.30pm to 5pm. 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 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 given for international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
• Al Tuffah Checkpoint was open all week.
• Tel As-Sultan checkpoint remained closed during the week.
Kfar Darom: The Palestinian area adjacent to Kfar Darom settlement was declared a closed military area 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 entryexit gate generally opening 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 extremely problematic.

Source: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Olive Harvest incidents

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
• Farmers from Sanniriya in Qalqiliya Governorate have not yet been able to access their olive groves - some 600 dunums (60 hectares) - inside the settlement boundaries of Oranit and Sha’are Tikwa and the area near the Green Line. The ICRC has assumed the responsibility of coordinating the farmers’ (some 15 to 20) access with the IDF. Although a list of all farmers was submitted to the DCL by the ICRC ahead of the harvest, no approval has yet been given.
• Despite coordination through the ICRC, six families from Kfur Lagif have still not obtained approval by the IDF to access their olive groves -some 100 dunums (10 hectares) - inside the settlement boundaries of Ginot Shameron, Male Shameron, Neve Menahem and Qarne Shameron in Qalqiliya Governorate.
14 October: Three farmers from Yasuf in Salfit district were arrested by the Israeli Police on the charge of picking olives in the restricted zone near Tappuah settlement without prior coordination with and approval from the IDF. The farmers were subsequently released after the intervention of the Palestinian DCL.

Hebron/Bethlehem:
13 October: Settlers from Susya, south Hebron, attempted to prevent Palestinians from the nearby village of Susiya from harvesting olives from their land. The villagers were able to complete the harvesting with the support of Israeli peace activists from Ta'ayush and the intervention of the Israeli DCL.
15 October: Settlers from Avi Ghail outpost and four IDF jeeps prevented Palestinians from Mantiqat Shi'b Al Batin, Hebron district, from collecting olives from their land near Qawawis village.
17 October: The IDF confiscated a tractor and took the IDs of 70 farmers from Beer Oneh,, Bethlehem district, preventing them from collecting their olives. The IDF later returned the IDs but kept the tractor.
17 October: Settlers began collecting olives from land belonging to Palestinians from Al Jaba, near the settlement of Bat Ayin. The Israeli Police intervened arresting three settlers from the settlements of Kiryat Arba (Hebron) and Itamar (Nablus) and Jerusalem. The other settlers fled with one ton of olives.
18 October: Settlers from Havat Ma'on outpost attempted to prevent farmers from At Tuwani village, Hebron district, from collecting olives from their land. The IDF intervened after receiving calls from international peace activists stationed in the village. Harvesting resumed.

Ramallah /Al Bireh:
15 October: At midday, a farmer from Al Mazra’a al Qibliya was physically harassed by a settler from Nakhli’el settlement while he was picking olives. The farmer filed a complaint at the Israeli military civil administration in Bet El.
15 October: The Border Police imposed a curfew on Beit ‘Ur at Tahta and closed the oil press from around 10pm until the next morning, thus disrupting the work during the olive harvest (during the harvest, the oil presses operate 24 hours a day).

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL

8. Access to schools:

West Bank:
• Due to the current UNRWA staff strike, all classes in UNRWA West Bank schools are suspended.
• Hundreds of students from Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya, Jerusalem district, are experiencing difficulties in crossing the gate in the Barrier near Ras al ‘Amud to reach their schools in East Jerusalem each day. The gate is manned by Israeli Border Police and only Palestinians with valid permits or Jerusalem IDs are allowed to cross. Schools in several Palestinian Jerusalem neighbourhoods are becoming overcrowded because many students have been forced to change schools due to Barrier construction.
13 October: For more than two hours, vehicles were denied access at the DCO checkpoint in Qalqiliya, which also affected the school bus en route to collect the school children from Wadi Ar Rasha and Ramadin in Habla.
13 October: Twelve students from Ash Shafi School in the area of Abu Ruman, Hebron city, suffered gas inhalation after the IDF fired rubber coated metal bullets and tear gas inside their school during the arrest operation of a Hamas leader in Hebron. Three students were sent to Hebron Hospital and others received treatment from the school.
16 October: Students in Beit Rima and Deir Ghassana, Ramallah district, were unable to attend school because of the curfew imposed on the two villages. Students from An Nabi Salih were also unable to attend their secondary schools in these villages.
16 October: Children from Faroun, Tulkarm district, were not able to attend their classes as the village was placed under curfew.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

Gaza:
13 October: The 11-year-old female student who on 12 October sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach while sitting in an UNRWA classroom died.
14 October to date: IDF delayed the morning opening hours at the gate in Seafa resulting in delays for 24 students.

9. Labour movement to Israel

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:

• The IDF continued to enforce the suspension of all permits to Israel (work, trade, visitors, etc.), only exceptions are humanitarian cases/transfers. Arab-Israelis are still allowed to enter Tulkarm and Qalqiliya provided they can prove their family relationships. In Tulkarm, Arab-Israelis must leave their vehicles outside the Kafriat checkpoint in a special constructed parking lot.

Jericho governorate:
• The IDF has decreased the limit of trading permits, valid for three months, from 300 to 70.

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. However, no workers and/or traders were allowed to enter Israel proper.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

10. Other:

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
16 to 17 October: In three separate incidents in Balata refugee camp and Beit Furik village, Nablus, a total of six Palestinians were injured during clashes with IDF.
19 October: Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an IDF military base near Arraba village, Jenin district. One IDF soldier was injured. The soldier later died of his injuries. The IDF later announced a curfew on Arraba and conducted a search campaign.
• An IDF search and arrest operations took place during the week in Jenin city, Al Yamoun village (Jenin), Jenin camp, Nablus and Burqin village (Jenin). Sixteen Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
15 October: While on his way back to Yasuf, a teacher was attacked by settlers from Tappuah with spray and badly beaten. The teacher was hospitalised in Nablus.
• Search and arrest campaigns were conducted in Illar, Faroun, Tulkarm town, Anabta and Tulkarm refugee camp. A total of eight persons were reported arrested.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
• 16 October: At about 2pm, clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and an Israeli Border Police patrol in Bet Liqya. Three Palestinians were reportedly injured by rubber coated metal bullets.

Hebron/Bethlehem
13 October: Two Palestinian residents of the old city of Hebron, H2 area, returned to their homes from which they were driven by settlers' violence a year ago.
17 October: Students from Tuba who were escorted by the IDF to their school in At Tuwani village, Hebron district, were attacked with stones by a group of settlers from the outpost of Havat Ma'on.
17 October: The IDF resumed the work on Prayers Road in the old town of Hebron.
18 October: The IDF shot and injured one Palestinian in Idhna village, Hebron district.
13 October (ongoing): Search and arrest campaigns took place in Hebron city, Ad Dhahiriya, Dura, Yatta, Bethlehem, Al Khadr and Ad Duheisha camp. In total, 41 Palestinians were arrested.

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










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