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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
22 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 (16 - 22 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: 2; Injured: 18 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 0; Injured: 6 (approximate)
Internationals: Deaths: 0; Injured: 1

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: 1
Delay (30 minutes): 2
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 1

18 February: Israeli settlers reportedly threw stones at a PRCS ambulance near Jit junction in Nablus. No injuries to the crew were reported, however the ambulance sustained some damages.

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

14 January ongoing: No Palestinian patients, with few exceptions, have been permitted through Erez for further treatment in Israel or the West Bank.
22 February: A group of 25 Palestinian patients was delayed at Erez crossing for six to eight hours. Most in the group decided to return to the Gaza Strip.

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:
17 February: The IDF handed 16 evacuation orders to Palestinians from Wadi Fukin village west of Bethlehem. The orders state that the villagers must return the land to its previous state - remove all changes made, including a spring rehabilitation project. The local municipality states that the orders affect more than 780 dunums (78 hectares) of land, 150 dunums (15 hectares) of which have been rehabilitated by the NGO World Vision. According to the orders, the IDF will clear the land if the land is not returned to its previous state by the Palestinians. The Palestinian owners will be charged for the cost of the IDF levelling.
22 February: An uninhabited seven-storey building on the Mount of Olives was demolished due to a lack of a building permit.



The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
3 February: (not reported previously) IDF military requisition order no. 05/20 calls for the confiscation of 25.4 dunums (2.54 hectares) of land for the constriction of a gate in the Barrier in Al ‘Eizariyya.
16 February: The IDF issued a military requisition order for 250 m2 of land belonging to 'Akkaba (Tulkarm) for the purpose of constructing a military observation tower.
16 to 22 February: The IDF requisitioned 49.3 dunums (4.93 hectares) - requisition order T/100/04 - on the eastern side of Qalandiya checkpoint. Land levelling has begun for the construction of IDF buildings.
20 February: New land levelling for the construction of the Barrier started west of Bil’in south toward Saffa in the west of the governorate between the villages and Modi’in Illit settlement.
16 to 22 February: Work progressed on the concrete section of the Barrier erected across the old road to Hebron, at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Israeli DCL, the Barrier will leave a gap on the road closed by a gate. This will remain open only until the new checkpoint-terminal, adjacent to the Barrier, is completed in May/June 2005. Meanwhile, the new access road, which will allow Jewish worshippers to access the area next to Rachel’s Tomb, is being prepared for a new concrete section of the Barrier aimed at securing it.
• Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballut and Az Zawiya (Salfit) has been ongoing throughout the week.
• Levelling of land near Kafriat checkpoint (Tulkarm) 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: 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 freely cross the checkpoint. No restrictions were imposed on Palestinians with Israeli IDs travelling to Tulkarm town. Israeli yellow-plated cars had to be parked outside the town.
• In Nazlat Isa, six households (69 people) are living between the Barrier and the Green Line. Three people had their green permit renewed for one year, and one female resident was rejected renewal on security grounds.
Qalqiliya Governorate: No restrictions were imposed on the local populations residing in and travelling on the eastern side of the Barrier. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open for Palestinians the entire week. No restrictions were imposed on Palestinians with Israeli IDs travelling to Qalqiliya town.
18 January: The IDF introduced new electronic checking procedures at the Barrier gate into 'Azzun 'Atma in Qalqiliya Governorate. These new procedures have caused delays for residents, especially for teachers and school children.
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 movement.
16 February: The IDF re-established the roadblocks at Yasuf (Salfit) after having removed them temporarily three weeks ago.
16 February: The IDF set up mobile check points in 'Azzun and Kafr Thulth (Qalqiliya).

___________
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:
• 16 February: Huwwara checkpoint (Nablus) was closed for two hours.
16 to 17 February: At Tayasir gate (Tubas), the IDF prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their houses in the Jordan Valley for lack of entry permits.
16 to 17 February: Delays occurred at Hamra checkpoint (Jordan Valley, Nablus Governorate).
21 February: Seven flying checkpoints were set up on Road 60 between Jenin and Ramallah.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
17 February: The IDF closed Qalandiya checkpoint at 8am due to a high security alert, and prevented any movement until around 1pm. The partial checkpoint at Atara Bridge was also operating for about five hours. Delays were reported due to ID checking and vehicle searches.
20 February: The IDF changed the opening hours of Qalandiya checkpoint, for both vehicles and pedestrians, from 6am to 10pm daily (instead of 4.30am to midnight for vehicles and 24 hour access for pedestrians). These new opening hours will remain effective for at least two weeks.
16 to 21 February: The partial checkpoint at An Nabi Salih gate was operating daily from 8am to 10am, and from 3pm to 6pm. Delays were experienced.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
• During the week, IDF mobile checkpoints operated daily at the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya-Ma’ale Adumim settlement resulting in delays.
17 and 18 February: A high alert was announced by Israeli security forces. The IDF set up several mobile checkpoints especially in the northern parts of Jerusalem Governorate.
20 February: Ramot Allon and Bir Nabala checkpoint were closed for several hours.
• (Not reported previously): A new printer and computer system have been installed at the Jericho DCL, which has speeded up the process of issuing magnetic cards. Cards are now issued on the spot.

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. On 20 February, the IDF started levelling the main street at Ar Ram/Bir Nabala junction to expand the area for a planned parking lot. Land levelling is also taking place for the planned enlarged checkpoint south of present-day Qalandiya checkpoint. There is 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. 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, Sur Bair, 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.
Northwest: The last Israeli High Court ruling for the Beit Surik and north westward area on 8 February allows the IDF to continue Barrier construction according to the new proposed route from Bet Liqya to Bet Surik - except in certain areas. Land levelling in Beit Surik started again on 17 February.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
16 February: A team of internationals escorting a group of Palestinian shepherds in the hills around the village of At Tuwani, south Hebron, was beaten by Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Ma’on. One of the internationals was severely injured and had to be transported to Be’er Sheva for treatment. This is the most serious in the recent series of attacks and harassments by Israeli settlers from Ma’on on local shepherds trying to graze their animals.
21 February: Access for Palestinian farmers from Husan village (Bethlehem Governorate) trying to access their land on the eastern side of Betar Illit is deteriorating. The new entrance to the Israeli settlement and related paving is cutting off entrances for Palestinian to their agricultural land.

The enclosed areas in the Gaza Strip:
As-Seafa: On 13 February, the IDF started to allow Palestinians aged 30 and older residing in As-Seafa to pass in and out without any prior coordination. Males and females aged between 16 and 30 years are still required to have a 48 hour prior coordination. The gate still opens two times a day: 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.
4 February: The IDF reopened the checkpoint for all Palestinians except males aged between 16 and 35 years who need prior coordination.
• 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:
19 February: The IDF delayed students from Beit Amin entering at 'Azzun 'Atma gate.

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 3:30pm.

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).

Gaza:
22 February: Israeli authorities issued 1,046 permits for Palestinian workers and 411 permits for merchants aged 35 years and older.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
19 February: One Palestinian (age 20) died from injuries sustained 10 November 2004 after clashes with the IDF in Nablus city.
21 February: Following and Israeli-Palestinian agreement, 116 prisoners originating from Nablus and 137 prisoners originating from Jenin were released.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in Nablus city. Five Palestinians were reported arrested.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
16 February: The IDF carried out search campaigns in Baqat Al Hatab and 'Azzun (Qalqiliya). Live ammunition and shock grenades were fired during the search campaign. An IDF search-and-arrest campaign was also conducted in Qalqilya, two Palestinians were detained.
21 February: Following an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, 33 prisoners originating from Salfit and Qaliqilya governorates were released.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
20 to 21 February: Demonstrations and clashes took place in Bil’in village between Palestinians and the IDF near the area where new land levelling has begun for the construction of the Barrier. The IDF responded with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. Seven Palestinians were injured, none seriously. One two-month-old baby suffering from tear gas inhalation, which was fired at demonstrators but spread to houses in the vicinity of the clashes, was taken to Ramallah hospital.
21 February: Following an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, 48 prisoners originating from Ramallah were released.
22 February: Palestinians and some international peace activists held a demonstration in Saffa village protesting against the construction of the Barrier. Six Border Police soldiers and four Palestinians were reported injured.
• One Palestinian male was arrested during an IDF search and arrest campaign in Silwad.

Jerusalem/Jericho
21 February: Five prisoners from Jericho were released following an Israeli–Palestinian agreement.

Hebron/Bethlehem
21 February: following an Israeli–Palestinian agreement, 71 prisoners originating from Hebron as well as 35 from Bethlehem were released.
• IDF search campaigns took place in ‘Ayda refugee camp, Bethlehem Governorate; one Palestinian was arrested. In Hebron, search campaigns took place in Yatta and Beit Ummar; five Palestinians were arrested.

Gaza:
15 February: The IDF started installing a new fence around the southern edge of Morag settlement.
16 February: Two mortar shells were fired in the direction of Morag settlement. No injuries or damage were reported.
20 February: A 16-year-old boy was shot and injured as a result of IDF shooting in the direction of Khan Younis.

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






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