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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
25 January 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 (19 - 25 January 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: 8; Injured: 17 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 0; Injured: 3 (approximate)

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank:

No incidents reported.


Gaza:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 2
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

14 January to ongoing: No Palestinian patients are permitted through Erez for further treatment in Israel or the West Bank.
21 January: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for two hours at Al Tuffah checkpoint in Khan Younis while transporting a woman in labour. The woman was carried out on a stretcher as the road next to the checkpoint was severely damaged.
22 January: A PRCS ambulance transporting a woman in labour was delayed for 35 minutes at Al Tuffah checkpoint. The woman delivered her baby inside the ambulance.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH,

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
19 January: The IDF demolished a three-storey building in Nablus city. Four families lost accommodation. Seven other houses and 10 commercial shops were partially destroyed. More than 18 people were made homeless.
19 January: The IDF served a demolition order for a water cistern rehabilitated by the NGO World Vision in the village of Wadi Fukin, Bethlehem Governorate.
19 January: Four furniture stores in a building in Haifa Street, Nablus city burned after the IDF threw sound grenades inside one of the stores during a search campaign. Seven apartments were also damaged in the same building.
25 January: One family from Seida received an order to vacate their house. However, no demolition order has been issued.




Gaza:
• No incidents reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
• Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballout and Ar Zawiya has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation for construction of the Barrier.
• Levelling of land near Kafriat checkpoint in Tulkarm Governorate continued throughout the week in preparation for construction of a new tunnel under Road 57.
• Construction of the Barrier has been ongoing throughout the week in areas west of Surif, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsim and Al Burj, in Hebron Governorate.
23 January: The IDF resumed construction work on part of the Barrier near Ariel settlement in Salfit District. IDF bulldozers are currently working on the 4-kilometre section, between Salfit town and the Ariel settlement. A total of 267.4 dunums (26.74 hectares) of land was requisitioned on 28 May 2004 for the purpose of constructing the Ariel “finger”.
24 January: Land levelling by Israeli contractors in the area of Al Burj, Hebron Governorate, has destroyed the only access road to the agricultural land belonging to the village. According to the village council, the agricultural road is the only access to an area of 12,000 dunums (1,200 hectares).
25 January: The IDF levelled a stretch of agricultural land in preparation for a road in the area of Khallet Ad’Dara, 2 kilometres south of the Yatta/Hebron intersection on Road 60.

Gaza:
No incidents reported.

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

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


6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement
Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
• In Tulkarm Governorate, the IDF maintained eased movement restrictions. Although all parts of Kafriat checkpoint remained manned during the week, no restrictions were imposed on Palestinian-plated vehicles, which in general could cross the checkpoint. No restrictions were imposed on Palestinians with Israeli citizenship travelling to Tulkarm town. Flying checkpoints were reported at different entrances to Tulkarm town.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local population residing in and travelling on the eastern side of the Barrier. On 21 January, flying checkpoints were deployed at the main entrance to Qalqiliya town and tunnel in conjunction with an Israeli military operation. No restrictions were imposed on Palestinians with Israeli citizenship travelling to Qalqiliya town. Delays at the gate into Azzun Atma were reported during the week. At Izbat Tabib village, the IDF erected an earth mound in front of the one of the entrances.
• In Salfit District, movement between the villages continues 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 movement. During the Eid Al-Adha holiday, relatives of Deir Ballout villagers were not allowed to enter the town after 6.30pm.

___________
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:
20 January: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint on the road to Tubas near Ath Thaghra village, Tubas District, restricting the movement of Palestinians during the first day of Eid Al-Adha.
21 January: The IDF closed Tayasir gate, Tubas District, preventing access to Palestinians for the entire day.
25 January: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint on Road 60 near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village, Nablus District. All vehicles passing were subject to checks.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
• The partial checkpoint at Atara Bridge operated on a daily basis during the week. Palestinians experienced delays of up to two to three hours.
• Long delays were reported at An Nabi Salih gate throughout the week during the Eid Al-Adha religious feast. The gate was closed several times, including on 19 and 21 January. A flying checkpoint was set-up several times on the dirt track between Beit Rima and ‘Abud, which Palestinians were using to move in and out of the Bani Zeid cluster.
25 January: The IDF surrounded a house in Qarawat Bani Zeid because it suspected that two wanted Palestinians were hiding there. The IDF opened fire on the house while children were inside. After coordination with the Israeli DCL, the IDF later stopped firing at the house. When the IDF later entered the house, two children aged nine and 11 years old, were found inside unharmed.

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 stop Palestinian vehicular movement on Road 1 for several hours every Saturday after Shabath.
24 January: Due to the return of Hajj pilgrims from Mecca, the Jericho DCO checkpoint and Allenby Bridge will be open 24 hours a day until 27 January.
25 January: The IDF established a flying checkpoint on Jaba’/Road 60 intersect

Jerusalem Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling and construction of the Barrier is also taking place 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 has closed the area known as the Gate near Al ‘Eizariyy - Ras Al Amoud. Palestinians currently use the Monastery gate where Israeli Border Police are present to check for permits. Construction of the Barrier is continuing 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 is halted.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in Bet Duqqu and on Qatanna land near the Green Line.
• Construction in Biddu, Beit Surik, Bet Iksa, Bet Anan, Al Qubeiba, Kharayib Umm al Lahim, An Nabi Samwil and areas west of Qatanna has been halted since 13 January following an Israeli High Court temporary injunction.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
22 January: One bus seized by the Israeli Border Police in the village of Al Walaja (Bethlehem Governorate), has been released following the successful appeal in court by the Palestinian company owning it. The bus is currently back providing crucial services to the local residents increasingly isolated by the closures imposed on the village. A second bus is still in the custody of the Israeli Border Police.
23 January: An earth mound was erected on an agriculture road west of Husan village (Bethlehem). According to the village council, the farmers of Husan have lost access to approximately 200 dunums (20 hectares) of agricultural land.
25 January: In the village of Al Walaja, an earth mound was erected on an internal dirt road used by vehicles to bypass trenches dug by the Israeli Border Police on the road running through the Cremisan monastery, the main access route to Bethlehem.

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.
19 January: Fifty-nine Palestinians were permitted in and out of As Seafa for the Eid Al-Adha celebrations.
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. However, only men aged 50 years and older are permitted to cross back into Al Mawassi. Since 6 June 2004 to 26 December 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.
19 to 25 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was completely closed. No entry or exit was permitted.
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:
• No incidents reported.

Gaza:
• As a result of the new access restrictions at Abu Holi checkpoint and the Beach Road, students moving between Gaza City and the Gaza Strip middle and southern areas are experiencing difficulties reaching their classes on time.
23 January: As a result of IDF shooting toward Tel Es-Sultan quarter in Rafah, two windows at UNRWA Tel Es-Sultan Boys School were destroyed.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel (monthly)
West Bank:
• According to the Nablus Chamber of Commerce (as reported last week), the monthly quota for Nablus Governorate for merchant’s permits to Israel was 700 permits. The chamber of commerce was also informed that the Israeli DCL office will not receive any permit application directly by the citizens in the next three months. Permit applications for merchants will instead be processed via the chamber of commerce, and permits for moving within the West Bank will be processed via the Palestinian DCL.
• In Hebron District (as reported last week), 1,700 workers’ permits were issued and 517 permits for traders (as reported previously). In Bethlehem District, 577 workers' permits were issued and 635 permits for traders (as reported previously).
• In Jericho District (as reported previously), a total of 884 permits for entry to Israel (including East Jerusalem) and to move between checkpoints in the West Bank were issued; 104 permits were issued for traders.

Gaza:
• In Gaza Strip, 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and above were issued (as reported previously). However, since 14 January no Palestinians were permitted through.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
19 January: One Palestinian was injured in Nablus city after an exchange of fire with the IDF.
20 January: The IDF shot dead a thirteen-year-old Palestinian in Tubas city while he was playing with a plastic toy that resembled a gun.
21 January: A Palestinian minor from Sir Village died as a result of injuries sustained by the explosion of a device left after an IDF operation on 29 December 2004.
21 January: The IDF opened fire injuring one Palestinian in Salem, Jenin District, while he was passing near the Barrier in the area.
21 January: Palestinian militants threw three explosive devices at an IDF patrol in Nablus city. No injuries were reported.
22 January: One Palestinian was injured in clashes with the IDF near Salim east of Nablus city.
23 January: Palestinian militants threw an explosive device at an Israeli patrol in Balata camp, Nablus District. No injures were reported.
23 January: The IDF surrounded a seven-storey building in Rafidya in Nablus city. Fifteen apartments sustained some internal damage during a search. According to the IDF, explosive devices and belts were found inside the building.
24 January: The IDF surrounded a house in 'Askar camp, Nablus District. Three Palestinians, including two minors were injured by IDF activity.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus city, Tubas, Jenin city, Silat adh Dhahr, Silat al Harithiya, Jaba' (Jenin District). In total, 38 Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
19 January: The IDF cut down olive trees near Haris and Kifl Haris villages in Salfit District in conjunction with ongoing road construction.
23 January: One person was killed by the IDF near the Barrier in Habla in Qalqiliya Governorate.
• Throughout the week, search campaigns were conducted in Jayyous, Tulkarm town, Schweika, Illar, Seida, Anabta, Qalqiliya town, Deir al Ghusun, Bala, Salfit town and Azzun. Two people were injured during the operation in Jayyous and more than 10 Palestinians have been reported arrested. Flying checkpoints were deployed accordingly in support of these military operations.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
23 January: Around midnight, at least 13 IDF jeeps surrounded the Omiya building in the centre of Ramallah. The IDF searched offices and arrested a wanted Palestinian man from Beit Rima. The IDF later surrounded the Muqat’a and patrolled the surrounding area.
25 January: Two Palestinian boys (ages 11 and 13) were injured around 6pm when an explosive object left by the IDF in Deir Jarir exploded. The boys were hospitalised in Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Police.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns were carried out throughout the week in Al Bireh, Deir Ghassana, ‘Abud, Ramallah Beituniya, and Beit Rima. A total of nine Palestinian males were arrested.

Jerusalem/Jericho
24 January: Israeli Police arrested a 19-year-old woman from the Gaza Strip after she tried to stab an Israeli policeman at one of the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Hebron/Bethlehem
18 to 20 January: The IDF occupied one house in Deir al’ Asal village, south west of Hebron. The house was used as observation post. The residents were held in one room.
19 January: The IDF occupied three houses in Beit ‘Awwa village and four houses in Deir Samit (Hebron Governorate) for two and a half days. The houses were used as observation posts and the residents of the houses were held inside.
20 to 21 January: The IDF occupied a house in ‘As Samu, south of Hebron city, and used it as an observation post. The residents of the house (15 persons) were confined inside for the entire time, as were all the relatives visiting during the second day of Eid Al-Adha.
24 January: The IDF confirmed in a statement to the Israeli daily newspaper Kol Ha’ir, that the area of An Nu’man, on the eastern side of the city of Bethlehem, will become the site of a large terminal, for commercial trucks, vehicles and pedestrians; a Border Police base will also be established nearby. The IDF provided reassurance that the Palestinian village of Mazmuria (known on maps as An Nu’man) will remain united with its graveyard on the West Bank side of the Barrier.
25 January: Palestinian shepherds were prevented by the IDF and settlers from grazing their flock in farmland they owned in an area immediately north of the Israeli settlement of Ma’on, south Hebron.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem and Husan, eight arrests were reported. In Hebron search-and-arrest campaigns took place in ‘As Samu, Bani Na’im and Sa’ir, Dura and Yatta. A total of 16 Palestinians were detained.

Gaza:
19 January: Three IDF soldiers were injured when Palestinian militants fired an antitank missile at an IDF bulldozer operating in the northern Gaza Strip.
24 January: Two homemade rockets were fired in the direction of Neveh Dekalim settlement in Gush Qatif. No injuries were reported.
25 January: Three Palestinians were injured when IDF soldiers manning Abu Houli checkpoint fired toward their car while crossing the checkpoint.

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

END








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