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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
15 February 2005


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 (9 - 15 February 2005)

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 incidents and significant report -- Appendix


1. Casualties
Palestinians: Deaths: 7; Injured: 5 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: ; Injured: 1 (approximate)

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank: (Information covers the period 2 - 4 February)
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 0
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

15 February: A woman gave birth at Qalandiya checkpoint with a help from the PRCS medical staff after the IDF prevented her husband to pass by the checkpoint in his private vehicle.

The Gaza Strip:
Denial of access: 1
Delay (30 minutes): 4
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

• Since 14 Jan, no Palestinian patients have been permitted access through Erez for further treatment in Israel or West bank. Since then, a small number of urgent medical cases were permitted to leave through Erez.
• 10 February: A PRCS ambulance transporting a pregnant woman from Al Mawassi to Nasser hospital in Khan Younis was denied access after being delayed for 130 minutes.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
• No incidents reported.

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

4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
13 February: Three Palestinian families (19 persons) living in caves between the Israeli settlement of Karmel and that of Ma’on, in the area of Masafer/ Yatta (south Hebron) were verbally notified by IDF to evacuate their habitations by 14 February. No action to evacuate them was carried out up till now.
14 February: Two houses were demolished in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem governorate, for lack of building permits.


The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
8 February: (Not reported last week). The IDF issued a military order T/16/05 confiscating two dunums of land in an area next to the Palestinian village of At Tuwani, which belongs to Palestinian families, south Hebron Governorate.
8 February: (Not reported last week). Military order T/17/05 was issued by the IDF to confiscate land connecting the settlement of Tel Rumeida, in H2, Hebron, to Shohada Street. The confiscation of land would create a corridor of 350 m over a stretch of land of two dunums to connect Tel Rumeida to the other settlements established in the Old City. It is anticipated that the new road will run through land that belongs to a Muslim cemetery.
8 February: (Not reported last week). Military order No 08/05 was issued by the IDF for the requisition of 338.3 dunums of land in Beit Hanina Al Balad , Jerusalem governorate, for the Barrier construction.
9 February: Approx. 30 Dunums of land were requisitioned in the area around Shu’fat checkpoint, Jerusalem governorate, for the expansion of the checkpoint.
11 February: The Israeli High Court of Justice issued an injunction order to suspend construction work on a 4-kilometre segment between Ariel Israeli settlement and Salfit town. The injunction order is valid for 21 days.
12-15 February: The IDF uprooted nearly 40 olive trees on land belonging to Palestinians from Mas-ha, Salfit governorate.
13 February: Villagers in Dhaher al Malih and Tura al Gharbiya, two villages located on separate sides of the Barrier in Jenin, received a confiscation order for 301 dunums of land.
13, 14 and 15 February: The IDF levelled land in Beit Liqya village, Ramallah governorate, for the construction of the Barrier.
15 February: Military order T/82/04 was issued recently by the IDF to confiscate 1.3 dunums of land on the edge of H2, in the industrial area of the city of Hebron. The order is not dated but as stated in the order, it is effective from the date of issuance.
• Ongoing land levelling in preparation for the Barrier construction near the area of Deir Ballut and Az Zawiya, Salfit governorate.
• Land levelling near Kafriat checkpoint, Tulkarm governorate, continued throughout the week in preparation a new tunnel under road 57.

The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.

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

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1 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare


6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement
Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
Tulkarm governorate: Tulkarm governorate experienced easier vehicular access for Palestinian plated vehicles at the Kafriat checkpoint, which has been manned through out the week by IDF. Also, no restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Tulkarm town although yellow plated cars must be parked outside the town.
Qalqiliya governorate: In Qalqiliya governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local populations residing and travelling on the eastern side of the Barrier. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open for Palestinians all week. No restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Qalqiliya town. On 18 January, the IDF introduced new electronic checking procedures at the Barrier gate into Azzun Atma in Qalqiliya governorate, which caused long delays for residents, teachers and school children in particular.
9 February: Palestinians held a sit-in strike and demanded the opening of the gate, which is manned by settlers, at the main entrance at Kafr Qaddum.
10 February: IDF agreed to escort villagers from Kafr Qaddum through the gate.
11 February: A guard from Kdumim settlement beat three Palestinians from Kafr Qaddum waiting to be escorted through the gate.
11 February: IDF closed the main and only entrance to Kafr Qaddum, preventing residents to enter or leave the village.
15 February: IDF erected a flying checkpoint at An Nabi Elyas at road 55, arresting 3 Palestinians.
Salfit district: Movement between the villages continued to be hampered by the existence of road blocks and earth mounds and the restrictions to travel on the main roads. Three road blocks/earth mounds in particular near Kafr Dik, Qarawat Bani Hassan and Yasuf severely hamper the movement.

___________
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:
10 February: IDF prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their houses in the Jordan valley because they lacked entry permits at Tayasir gate (Tubas).
15 February: Land owners, whose land was cut off by the Barrier in Jenin and subjected to obtain permits to access their land, were for the first time since the construction of the Barrier rejected seasonal permits. The rejection applied to land owners all along the Barrier in Jenin from Al Mutilla in the east to Dhaher al 'Abed in the west.
9-15 February: Delays lasting for hours continued at Tayasir gate (Tubas) despite the bad weather conditions.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
9 - 15 February: The temporarily manned checkpoint at An Nabi Salih gate operated during the week for a few hours a day, but with long delays experienced.
10 February: The partial checkpoint at Atara Bridge operated for four hours but delays were reported.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
• During the week, IDF mobile checkpoints operated daily at the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya-Ma’ale Adumim settlement resulting in delays.
• Palestinian pedestrian movement from the Abu Dis area to Jerusalem is more difficult since Israeli Border Police have been stopping Palestinians daily at the Monastery gate. Palestinian ID holders are, therefore, unable to access education, health and other services in East Jerusalem, that they formally had access to.

Jerusalem Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier continues along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling southwest of the checkpoint has also started, which is expected to be in preparation of the new checkpoint with a terminal. Also, ongoing land levelling and construction of the Barrier alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages, as well as north of Neve Ya’akov and south of Pisgat Ze’ev settlements.
East: The IDF closed the area known as the Gate near Al ‘Eizariyy - Ras Al Amoud. Instead Palestinians currently use the Monastery gate where Israeli Border Police are present to check for permits. Construction of the Barrier continues in Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis, and Al ‘Eizariyya. Construction is nearly completed from the Mount of Olives to the hill just south of Al Quds University in Abu Dis. Barrier construction in Sur Bahir started in the beginning of January on the eastern and southern side of the village.
Northwest: The last court ruling for the area of Beit Surik and north-westwards was on 8 February. According the last Israeli court ruling for the Beit Surik and morth-westwards area on 8 Febrauary, allows the IDF to continue construction according to the new proposed route from Bet Liqya to Bet Surik except in certain areas. IDF military requisition orders were also issued on 7 and 8 of February for the planned Bir Nabala enclave, yet no construction work has started.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
• Throughout the week Israeli contractors have cut a section of the old Hebron road in the proximity of the concrete Barrier erected at the entrance to Bethlehem, near the area of Rachel’s Tomb. It is not clear whether this has been done to erect a gate or to continue to course of the concrete Barrier across the road, closing it off.

The enclosed areas in the Gaza Strip:
As-Seafa: On 13 February, the IDF started to allow Palestinians aged 30 and above residing in As-Seafa to pass in and out without any prior coordination, while males and females aged between 16-30 years are still requested to have a 48 hour prior coordination. The gate still opens two times a day: at 7:30am and 2:00pm. No vehicular movement is permitted. 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 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 had been required for unmarried females with Al Mawassi IDs who are between the ages of 18 and 25. Women are now allowed in and out with no age restrictions. Vehicles are not allowed to pass, with some exceptions given for international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
• Since 28 Jan, Al Tuffah crossing has been open for people leaving al Mawassi only.
4 February: IDF reopened the checkpoint for all Palestinians except for males aged between 16 and 35 years.
• Tel Es-Sultan checkpoint remained closed.
Al Maa’ni: 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 into 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 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.

Sources: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Access to schools:
West Bank:
14 February: Students from Al Malih village (Tubas) were held for five hours at Tayasir gate (Tubas).
11-15 February: IDF rejected a request from the Palestinian DCL to open up the road at 'Aba (Jenin) to allow school children through because of the heavy rain and muddy dirt roads

The Gaza Strip:
• During the reporting period, the 24 pupils living in As-Seafa reached their schools late because of the delay at the As Seafa gat. Upon return, the pupils were delayed for four hours and were not allowed to enter the area before 13:30.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel (monthly)
West Bank:
• In Hebron District, 2,145 workers’ permits and 495 trade permits were issued. In Bethlehem District, 397 workers' permits and 52 trade permits were issued, (As reported previously).
• In Nablus District, 400 permits were issued for traders. In Jenin District, 388 workers’ permits were issued. In Tubas District, 146 trade permits and 79 work permits were issued. (As reported previously).
• In Jericho, a total of 509 out of 677 permits were approved, (As reported previously).

Gaza:
• On 13 February, Israeli authorities issued 578 permits for Palestinian workers and 379 permits for merchants aged 35 years and above.



Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
9 February: Palestinians threw stones at a settler's vehicle passing at Route 60. One settler was reported injured.
10 February: Palestinians opened fire at IDF troops near Kaddim settlement (Jenin). No injuries were reported.
11 February: Palestinians opened fire at IDF troops near Brakha settlement. No injuries reported.
15 February: 15 IDF jeeps entered following areas in Nablus city: Balata camp, 'Askar camp, al Jabal ash Shamali, the Municipal Park, Ras al 'Ain and Rafidia. House searches were carried out in the refugee camps.
15 February: Two Palestinians were shot dead in clashes with the IDF in Kafr Qalil, Nablus governorate.
• IDF search and arrest campaigns took place during the week in Nablus city, 'Asira ash Shamaliya, Balata and 'Askar camps (Nablus), Tubas city and Fahma (Jenin). 14 Palestinians were reported arrested.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
11 February: At Zawiya junction, Salfit governorate, a settler hit and injured a Palestinian woman with his car.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
9 February: Palestinians threw stones at an IDF patrol on bypass road 443. IDF responded with live ammunition. One Palestinian was reported injured.
10 February: A Palestinian from Salfit driving near Ofra settlement tried to avoid an IDF flying checkpoint. The ID opened fire and the car turned over, after which the Palestinian died.
13 February: An IDF patrol was stoned by Palestinians when it entered ‘Abud village. The soldiers responded with tear gas canisters. No injuries were reported.
15 February: Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli vehicles on bypass road 443 west of Beitunia. An Israeli settler opened fire, killing a 15-year old Palestinian and injuring another.
• Throughout the week, IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Jilijliya, Bir Zeit, Silwad and Kharbatha Bani Harith. Nine Palestinian males were reported detained.

Jerusalem/Jericho
11 February: One Palestinian was arrested in East Jerusalem under the suspicion of carrying out an attempted stabbing attack against an Israeli policeman.
• IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Sawahriya ash Sharqiyya with two Palestinians detained.

Hebron/Bethlehem
14 February: A 16 year old Palestinian was killed by the IDF in the area of H2, in the city of Hebron. According to the IDF, the Palestinians attempted to stab a soldier with a knife.
• IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Al Sawahira, Bethlehem Governorate; two Palestinian males were detained in addition to three Palestinians from Beit Jala. In Hebron search campaigns took place in Sa’ir, Ash Shuyoukh , Yatta and Hebron with four Palestinians detained.

Gaza:
9 February: A 20-years old Palestinian was seriously injured when an IDF tank stationed near the fence of Slaw settlement in Rafah opened fire in the direction of Tel Es-Sultan area, and was announced dead next day.
10 February: A heavy barrage of mortars and home made rockets was made against the Gush Katif settlement, allegedly in retaliation for a Palestinian killed by IDF fire in Rafah.
11 February: Settlers from the Gush Katif bloc blocked the Abu Houli/Gush Katif road and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles. The traffic was disrupted for two hours until the IDF managed to disband them and reopen the road.
14 February: The IDF handed over the dead bodies of 15 Palestinian militants, killed during the Intifada, to the PA.

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







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