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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
23 December 2003

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

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (16 – 23 December 2003)
INSIDEINSI==INSIDE: 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. Casualties
Palestinians: 20 deaths 110 injured
Israelis: 2 deaths 3 injured

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access: 6
Delay (180 min.): 8 incidents
Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff: 2
Attack/abuse of patient: 1 incident
Detention of Medical staff: 1 incident
Detention of Patient: 1incident
Damage/Shooting at ambulance: 1 incident

3. Curfews
Curfews were reported in the following locations: Balata refugee camp (5 days), Husan (2 days), Madma, Jaba, Huwwara, Sanur, Maythalun, Marda, ad Dahya, Wadi Ezzedin, Jenin, Silat ad Daher (1 day).

4. House demolitions
Demolished: 35 houses, 1 building with 14 flats and 1 gas station
Partially Demolished: 10
Damaged: 178



5. Land levelling/confiscation
17 December: Israeli DCL handed the Palestinian DCL confiscation orders for the area between Qatanna and Beit Sira in the Ramallah governorate in conjunction with the projected Wall path as published in the IDF map on 23 October.
17 December: 10 dunumms (2.471 acres) were bulldozed in Yatta city in Hebron governorate to expand road 60 about 30 meters wide.
18 December: 60 dunnums (14.826 acres) of agricultural land planted with olive trees were bulldozed between Wadi Fuqin village and Bitar Illit settlement to expand the settlement. No notification or confiscation orders were submitted.
18 December: The mayor of Tarqummiya was verbally informed by the IDF that 300 dunnums (74 acres) of the village land close to the Telem settlement will be confiscated. About 20 families will be affected.
22 December: IDF bulldozed 5 dunnums (1.24 acres) near the entrance of Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron.

Gaza:



6. Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement

- Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates:
The past three weeks have seen a new trend in the requirements of green permits in Tulkarem district. In principle, medical staff, teachers and suppliers have been exempted from the green permit requirements, but more frequently now they are requested to show these permits when trying to cross the various gates. Last week, medical employees were denied access at the Baqa Ash Sharqiya gate. During this week truck transporting gas were denied access through the gate due to the lack of the green permits in Nazlat Isa.
20 December: Flying checkpoints were erected in various places in Tulkarm district. All entrances to were closed prohibiting all movement.
Construction of the Wall between Zeita and Qaffin through Nazlat Issa is in the final stages of completion.
The following agricultural gates have been reported closed during the week; Qalqilya south, Zeita south, Attil, Salman, Isla, Jayyous south and Izbat Jalud.




- Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
Despite the closure in the eastern part of Nablus, men older 35 years and all women were cross the Beit Iba check point. Dirt roads continued being difficult to pass due to numerous flying check points.
17 December: Settlers re-built an outpost which was removed by the IDF last week in Yitzhar settlement in.
23 December: IDF closed the main road leading to the eastern part of Nablus with earth mounds, road blocks and a tank prohibiting access to the eastern part of the city.
Flying checkpoints continued to be seen at the junction between Qabatiya, Jenin and Birqin during the week.





- Ramallah/al-Bireh/Beituniya governorates:
Residents of the northern villages trying to reach Ramallah and Bir Zeit are still facing difficulties. People are forced to use dirt roads or a detour to reach road 465 in order to reach Ramallah and Bir Zeit.
21 December: IDF closed the road between Rammun and At-Taybeh villages disabling people from Deir Dibwan and Rammun to reach at Taybeh and visa versa.
21 December: A flying checkpoint was erected at ‘Ein Arik road.
22 December: Palestinians removed the road barriers at the entrance of at Taybeh village. Flying checkpoints were checking Palestinians’ ID cards and cars.






The enclosed areas:
Al Seafa: Movement remains restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate opening twice daily for Seafa ID holders from 07.00 to 09.00 and 14.30 to 17.00. Motor vehicles are not allowed to enter, with the exception of international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
Al Mawasi: IDF-imposed restrictions remain, with no passage possible for male Mawasi ID holders aged 15-23 without prior coordination. Youths aged below 15 must be accompanied by a guardian.

7. Access to Schools:
The opening hours of the gate between Ras Atiya and Ras Tira continue to create problems for the school children on their way back to Ras Tira from their classes in Ras Atiya (17 pupils) and Habla (13 pupils). Also in the village of Jbara, the opening hours in the afternoon continue to cause problems for mainly the elementary school children.
16 December: Schools in Huwwara were ordered to close and students were sent home due to the curfew.
21 December: IDF entered Silat ad Daher school in Jenin and searched the class rooms.
23 December: IDF entered the school of Ras Atiya for no apparent reason.
UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure, curfew and lack of permits.

8. Labour movement to Israel

West Bank:
According to Palestinian DCL, a total of 400 work permits into Israel were issued in Tulkarem.
22 December: 100 additional work permits were issued Hebron for a total of 800. The number of trade permits reached 1000 this month. Most of the permits issued are valid for two weeks.
In Bethlehem, 40 new trade permits were issued. The total number of valid permits is 240. 81 work permits were issued for a total of 981 valid work permits.



9. Other incidents

Gaza
Ongoing military operation in Rafah. As a result of the incursion 9 were killed and 39 injured. 19 houses with 25 families (151 people) are homeless. A building with 14 flats was completely demolished making 17 families (90 people) homeless. Additional 10 houses were partially damage making 16 families (88 people) homeless. 177 were slightly damaged as well.
Sporadic exchanges of gun fire took place most evenings, particularly in central and southern Gaza.
17 December: Two explosive devices were detonated near an IDF observation tower at the Rafah border.
22 December: Two IDF officers were killed evening in a clash with an armed Palestinian on the Kissufim Road in the central Gaza Strip.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates
Ongoing military operation in Balata refugee camp. Since 16 December 6 deaths and 43 injuries were recorded.
Continuous arrest campaigns continued almost every night in Nablus governorate
Arrest campaigns were carried out in Jenin and Tubas governorates.

Tulkare/Qalqiliya governorates
Continuous military operations and arrests took place during the week in Tulkarm governorate.
20 December: 1 person returning to Tulkarm town through at Taybeh gate was allegedly beaten and was hospitalised. Another person was allegedly beaten resulting in an eye injury.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
19 December: Two Israeli settlers were wounded on the Hussan bypass road when stones were thrown at their vehicle.
22 December: Palestinians fired at an IDF military vehicle travelling on Route 160 in Hebron. An IDF Border Policeman was moderately wounded in the attack, and was taken to a hospital for medical treatment



(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, Governors’ office, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)

END

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