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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
24 November 2003
OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (19 – 24 November 2003)
: Casualties - Incidents involving ambulances - Curfew - House demolition - Land levelling/confiscation - Checkpoints/roadblocks/Labour movement into Israel - Other incidents
Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams (19-21 November)
Denial of access: 0
Delay (between 150-180 min.): 2 incidents
Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff: 0
Damage/Shooting at ambulance: 0
Curfews were reported in the following locations: Khadr, the housing project in Beit Jala, as Sawahira ash Sharqiyia and ash Sheik Saad (2 days), ‘Asira ash Shamaliya, Sabastiya, Qarawat Bani Zeid, Yasuf and Iskaka (1 day)
Partially Demolished: 0
Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement
• Last week continued to see a relaxation in the movement of the local population in both Qalqilya and Tulkarem districts at the checkpoints and the major road gates.
• Ongoing construction of the Wall between Zeita and Qaffin through Nazlat Issa. According to Tulkarem DCL office, the second part of the wall is expected to be completed during January 2004. Once completed, the access gates to Baqa Ash Sharqiya and Qaffin will be open with no soldiers manning these gates.
• Officially, all agricultural gates have opening hours at 06:00, 12:00 and at 18:00 for approximately 15-20 minutes but only for farmers holding green permits. The following gates, however, have been observed closed during the week; Qalqilya south, Zeita south, Attil, Salman and Izbat Jalud.
• The DCL office in Qalqiliya confirmed that no prohibition on farmers of Jayyous village from bringing their livestock to the meadows on the other side of the wall. Farmers will attempt to bring their livestock again to the meadows for grazing on the other side of the wall after being denied access two weeks ago.
• Since 14 November crossing checkpoints has in general been easier. However, using dirt roads was more difficult due to flying checkpoints. At Ytzhar junction near Huwwara village and at Deir Sharaf junction near Dir Sharaf village, new flying checkpoints are operating for several hours everyday day.
• 24 November: Jannat and Haifa Street checkpoints were removed.
Ramallah governorate (Ramallah/Al-Bireh/Beituniya)
• 21 November: Qalandiya checkpoint was relatively quiet. Only Palestinians over 50 years were permitted to cross to enter Jerusalem for the final Friday Ramadan prayers. However, if people did manage to cross Qalandiya they were unable to cross A-Ram checkpoint into Jerusalem, which was completely closed to West Bank Palestinians.
• 22 November: The Israeli military opened the gate at An Nabi Salih to pedestrians and vehicles. This gate had been closed the previous week.
• New regulations are now in force at the Ni'lin checkpoint. Only Palestinian residents of Ni’lin and Al Midya villages are allowed to enter their villages through this checkpoint. Residents of Budrus and Qibya, who normally would use this route, must now take a longer road home via Shuqba village.
• The roadblocks at Surda remain in place despite local announcements from the Israeli military authorities that these would be removed by 24 November.
• Bulldozers have started clearing land east of the “Green Line” on Qibya land (beside Qibiya and Budrus villages, south-west Ramallah governorate) for the construction of the Elkana-Jerusalem section of the Wall. The Qibiya village council reported that some olive trees have been uprooted. On 21 November, several hundred people took part in a peaceful demonstration in Qibya/Burdus against the construction of the Wall.
• Ongoing construction of the Wall in different sections in Khallet a Nu’man, Ash Sheikh Sa’ad.
• In Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis the wall construction stopped for one day after the killing of the 2 Israeli security men in Sawahriya Ash Sharqiyah last Saturday November 22
• The construction in the Sur Bahir area has ceased, waiting for a ruling from the High Court.
• The construction of the wall in Eizariya will be stopped next week in one section south of Zayem Checkpoint and east of Mount olives monastery due to an appeal to the Israeli high court by 5 Palestinian families whom their lands will be cut by the construction of the Wall.300 meters of 8 meters high concrete blocks are already installed.
• 1.5 Km of barbed wire fence was installed near al Quds University in Abu Dis.
• 21 November: Flying check points were established on different places, especially in and around the Old City several roads were closed because of Friday prayer.
• 22 November: Two Israeli security guards were shot dead at a construction site along the route of the Wall near Abu Dis in East Jerusalem.
• The easing of restrictions announced on 5 November was immediately reversed in the district of Bethlehem following the killing of the two IDF soldiers at the “Tunnels” checkpoint on route 60 on 18 November. All checkpoints were shut to all Palestinians with the restriction extending initially also to Palestinian staff working for international humanitarian agencies, including the UN. However, these initial measures are now being gradually lifted again.
• 20 November: The turn off route 35 for Idhna closed off with earth mounds and a concrete block. The action forces the population in the western part of the district to a huge detour to go north via Suba-Kureise-Durra-Hebron-Beit Kahil-Tarqoumia.
• 20 November: No crossing at the Beit Awwa checkpoint (where the road to Negohot settlement starts) forcing the population in the south-western part of the district to use internal secondary roads and long detours to reach areas in the north of the district and further.
• 23 November: The IDF reinstated the earth mounds at the Fawar/Durra crossing preventing local residents from using private vehicles to travel north to Hebron and returning to the pre-restrictions regime where crossings are only allowed on foot. As the yellow gate at the Hureiz crossing remains closed, the area of Yatta is effectively closed for the movement of vehicles as there is no paved access road open.
• Work continues on the extension of the Wall’s footprint in front of Ayda camp, Bethlehem
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 Mawasi ID holders males aged 15-23 years without prior coordination. Youths aged below 15 years must be accompanied by a guardian.
Access to Schools
• Teachers and students faced access difficulties and delays after the re-imposed closure on Bethlehem.
• UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure, curfew and lack of permits.
Labour movement into Israel
• No further work or trade permits issued.
• 22 November: The IDF entered Nur Shams refugee camp. Random shots were fired in the streets, no casualties reported.
• 20 November: The IDF entered Balata refugee camp and had clashes with the worshipers after they left the mosque. One child was lightly injured.
• 21 November: IDF entered the eastern part of Nablus city shooting randomly on the street lights. No injures reported.
• 22 November: IDF bulldozers entered the east part of Jenin city to enhance trenches in the area. Clashes took place between the IDF and the residents. As a result an 11-year old child was shot dead.t dead.
Ramallah/al Bireh/Beituniya governorates
• Continuous search/arrest campaigns occurred during the week in Ramallah and the surrounding villages.
• 20-23 November: Continuous incursions and search/arrest campaigns occurred.
• 19 November: An IDF gunboat opened random fire at a Palestinian fishing boat across from Gaza City. The IDF arrested the seven fishermen crew and towed the boat into Israel.
• 27 mortars, and 7 Qassam rocket have been fired towards the Israeli settlements of, Neve Dekalim, Netzarim, Morag, Eli Sinai and Gadid through out the reporting period.
(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, Governors’ office, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)
18 November: After the incursion into “Block O” in Rafah, 8 houses were completely demolished and 6 houses were partially demolished.