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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
21 December 2004


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 (15 - 21 December 2004)

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 -- Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: Deaths: 17; Injured: 88 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: ; Injured: 21 (approximate)
Internationals: Deaths: ; Injured:

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams1

West Bank:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

Gaza:
Denial of access: 3
Delay (30 minutes): 2
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 3

• As a result of the closure of the beach road and Abu Holi checkpoint, both MoH and PRCS were not able to transport patients and medical teams to and from the Gaza middle and the Gaza southern areas.
16 December: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for 60 minutes on Abu Holi checkpoint when it was transporting patients from Gaza south to Gaza City hospital of Al Shifa. Despite of the approved prior coordination the ambulance was denied access at the costal road.
17 December: A PRCS ambulance was denied access when warring shots were fired towards it while attempting to evacuate wounded people from the area of fighting in Khan Younis.
17 December: A coordination request was denied for PRCS ambulance to evacuate some Palestinian civilians confined in the crossfire in their houses in Al Namsawi area in Khan Younis.
17 December: A MoH ambulance came under IDF gunfire while attempting to evacuate a wounded man in Khan Younis. As a result one medic was injured and the ambulance hit by five bullets.
17 December: A MOH ambulance was denied access to evacuate a man who was previously killed in the fighting in Al Namsawi area in Khan Younis.
17 December: A MoH ambulance came under IDF gunfire while attempting to evacuate a wounded man in Khan Younis; the bullets hit the ambulance wheels.
17 December: Due to excessive firing towards Naser hospital in Khan Younis, some patients were evacuated. The surrounding wall of the hospital was destructed.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
14 December: (Not reported last week) The IDF demolished the second floor apartment of a three-storey building in Abu Suneina Hill, Hebron city. The apartment belonged to a father of three detainees. Two other apartments were damaged in the operation 15 persons lost accommodation. The ICRC delivered tent and emergency supplies.
14 December: (Not reported last week) The IDF demolished the first floor apartment of a two storey-building in Wadi Al Hariya, Hebron city. The apartment belonged to a father of two detainees. Another apartment was damaged in the operation. 20 persons lost accommodation. The ICRC delivered tent and emergency supplies.
15 December: The IDF demolished the first floor apartment of a two-storey building in Abu Keteila, Hebron city. The house belonged to a detainee. Another apartment was damaged in the operation. Five persons lost accommodation. The ICRC delivered tent and emergency supplies.
18 December: During a military operation, the IDF destroyed the interior of an empty house in Qalqiliya town.
20 December: Jerusalem Municipality and Border Police forces demolished a house that hosted three Palestinian families in Shufat as well as a gas station.
20 December: IDF demolsihed two houses in Arraba village (Jenin). The houses belonged to two prisoners arrested in August this year. 17 persons were made homeless by the demolishing of one of the houses and two females in the other house. A neighbouring house was partially destroyed.



Gaza:
17-19 December: 44 houses were demolished and another three houses damaged in Al Namsawi area west south Khan Younis.



5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
15 December: The Israeli High Court ruled in favour of the Palestinian petition (submitted by The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and The Jerusalem Centre for Human Rights in July 2004) against the planned construction of the Barrier in Az Zawiya in Salfit district
15 December: Israeli settlers seized land belonging to a Palestinian family in Bet Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem, and prevented the Palestinians access to their land.
16 December: After the High Court ruling for Az Zawiya, Salfit district, the IDF issued two new requisition orders covering 78.1 dunums near Masha and 389 dunums near Az Zawiya as part of an alternative route of the Barrier. Immediately after, the IDF moved in with bulldozers and started to level the land near Az Zawiya.
16 December: The IDF bulldozed about 20 dunums of land near Shani settlement belonging to Palestinians from 'As Samu, Hebron district, and put some caravans in the area.
17 December: The OCHA office in Hebron city received a copy of an amendment for the military order (T/64/04) for the requisition of 55 dunums of land belonging to Palestinians from Nuba village, Hebron district, for the construction of the Barrier.
19 December: Israeli bulldozers continued the uprooting of olive trees behind the Barrier near the village of Jayyous in Qalqiliya governorate. The uprooting began on 9 December, but was put on halt after intervention of the IDF. More than 150 olive trees have been further uprooted according to activist groups present on the ground. According to the Israeli DCL, dispute remains as to the ownership of the land. This dispute was planned to be resolved in a meeting on 19 December between the alleged Palestinian owner, his lawyer and the Israeli Civil Administration. However, the planned meeting has been postponed and despite the fact that the dispute remains unresolved the uprooting of olive trees continues.
20 December: In conjunction with the ongoing reconstruction of the whole area close to Taybeh checkpoint in Tulkarm governorate, the IDF levelled tens of dunums of agricultural land belonging to Faroun village for the construction of a bypass road.
______________
1 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare

Gaza:
15 December: 30 dunums of olive tree and wheat fields were levelled in Al Shuja’ia area east of Gaza City

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

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement
Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
• In Tulkarm governorate, the IDF maintained an ease in the movement restrictions. Although frequent movement restrictions were imposed on the Kafriat checkpoint on 19-20 December, and during this periods only ambulances and international organisations were let through.
• Also in Qalqiliya governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local populations. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open most of the week, but was closed 17-18 December in conjunction with a military operation in Qalqiliya town. In the same two-day period, a flying checkpoint was established at the entrance to Qalqiliya town.
• The IDF has removed the road gate at Azzun in Qalqiliya governorate thereby signifying free vehicular access to road 55. Currently, no permits are required for Palestinian plated vehicles to travel on road 55 from Qalqiliya town to Jit junction and consequently, the gate has virtually been open since end of 2003, and only been closed in times of IDF operations or security alerts.
• In Salfit district, the 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 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:
11 December - present: Two checkpoints were erected on the two entrances to Talluza village (Nablus).
16 December: Huwwara checkpoint was closed for one hour after IDF arrested three Palestinian children aged between 15 and 16 years old, allegedly because their attempts to smuggle ammunition out of Nablus.
20 December: A flying checkpoint was erected on the road connecting Tammun village with Tubas city.
21 December: Two flying checkpoints were erected in Jenin: One at the eastern entrance of Ya'bad, the other at the Arraba junction.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
15 December: The checkpoint at An Nabi Saleh gate was in operation throughout the day. Long delays were reported at the checkpoint.
18 December: The IDF closed Qalandiya checkpoint from 2.15pm to 4pm prohibiting both vehicular and pedestrian access.
18 December: The IDF searched Palestinian cars and IDs at Atara checkpoint during the evening rush hours and deployed several flying checkpoints along road 465.

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 have stopped Palestinian vehicular movement on Road 1 for several hours every Saturday after Shabath.

Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling for the Barrier is also taking place alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages.
East: Construction of the Barrier is continuing in Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis, and Al ‘Eizariya. 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, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim. In Biddu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik, construction is halted. New military requisition orders, for eastern and western sections of Bet Surik, were handed to Bet Surik village council on 4 November.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
15 December: The IDF opened Zif gate, the main entrance into Yatta village, Hebron district.
20 December: 600 Jerusalem permits have been issued for the Christmas holidays for Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem district. The permits are valid for one week started from the date of issue.
21 December: The IDF closed the gate at the main entrance of Beit Ummar, Hebron district, preventing the movement of vehicles in and out of the village.

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.
• The Gate was open all the week twice per day except on 19 December, when it was opened for one time only.
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 has been required for unmarried females with Al Mawassi IDs who are between the ages of 18 and 25. Vehicles are not allowed to pass, with some exceptions given for international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
• Tel As-Sultan checkpoint remained closed during the week.
• Since 8 December, Al Tuffah checkpoint was open only for persons leaving Al Mawasi, no entry was permitted.
• Since 17 December, only people aged 50 years and above are permitted to enter Al-Mawassi area while people aged 30 and above are permitted to leave.
19 December: Nobody was permitted to enter into Al-Mawass.
Kfar Darom: 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.

Source OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Access to schools:
West Bank:
11 December – present: Students from Al Badhan village studying in Talluza secondary school were facing major delays in reaching the school because of the checkpoints at the entrance of Talluza village, Nablus district..
15 December: Students of Talluza village (Nablus) were unable to reach their schools because of a curfew imposed on the village.
15 December: The IDF broke into the premises of As Siddiq private basic school in Dura, Hebron district and confiscated five computers, some files and documents and some syllabus books. The school belongs to the Islamic Charity Association ( Ad Dawa). The association offices were sealed off but the school remains open.
19 December: At around 1pm, three IDF jeeps surrounded the boys’ secondary school in Beituniya, Ramallah district. Shock grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets were fired. One student suffered injuries in his leg.

Gaza:
• During the reporting period, the 24 pupils living in As-Seafa were not able to reach their schools on time. They were delayed leaving through the As Seafa gate until late morning. Upon return, the pupils were delayed for four hours before being permitted to re-enter through the gate at 3:30pm. On 13 December, no pupil was permitted exit from As-Seafa.
13 - 17 December: As a result of the internal closures of the Gaza strip, schooling was severely disturbed for university students not being able to reach their universities in Gaza City.
15 December: An 11 year old female pupil was shot and injured in her shoulder whilst in her near-by PA school in Al Shuja’ia area in Gaza City.
17 - 18 December: Schooling in Khan Younis was severely disturbed due to the IDF intensive military operation.
20 December: A 13 years old pupil was wounded in the head by gunfire while in the schoolyard of Rafah UNRWA Preparatory School.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel
West Bank:
• According to Nablus chamber of commerce the monthly quota for Nablus governorate for merchant's permits to Israel are 200 permits.

Gaza:
13 December: Israeli authorities issued 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and above.



9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
8-14 December: IDF search and arrest operations took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus city, Bizzariya village (Nablus), Talluza village (Nablus), Tammun village (Tubas) and Jenin. Eleven Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.
15 December: IDF solders injured a 15 year old Palestinian in Talluza village (Nablus) who was evacuated to a Nablus hospital where he was treated for a broken pelvis.
16 December: WFP and OCHA organised an emergency food distribution of more than 6,000 pieces of bread to 350 families in Talluza (Nablus), which was under curfew since 11 December.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
17-18 December: The IDF entered Qalqiliya town and conducted a search and arrest campaign. The campaign resulted in discovery of explosives. A total of 19 persons were reported arrested, of which 11 were released soon after. In addition, other military operations and search campaigns were conducted in the all three districts over the week and included the following villages/towns: Qaffin, Illar, Tulkarm town and the refugee camp, Schweika, Salfit town, Azzun, Kfar Dik, Deir Istiya, Rafat and Zeita. Twelve Palestinians in total were reported arrested during these operations (excluding Qalqiliya town) and two Palestinians reported injured (Tulkarm refugee camp).
20 December: During early classes, the IDF entered a secondary school for boys in Baqa Ash Sharqiya in Tulkarm governorate and ordered the pupils to remove all posters on the walls depicting Palestinian martyrs. According to UNICEF, these forced entries by the IDF have taken place on several occasions over the past month.

Comments to previous reported briefing notes:
19 November: OCHA reported that the IDF entered the local prison in Salfit town and confiscated all files of local detainees. According to the Israeli DCL, the IDF operation was conducted on 22 November and it was files from a local charity committee that were confiscated.
24 November: OCHA reported that the IDF handed over a number of stop construction orders and demolitions orders to the Bedouin community of Wadi Qana in Qalqiliya governorate. These orders were not issued for Wadi Qana but for Wadi Rasha and OCHA has earlier reported on this.
29 November: OCHA reported that the IDF put back the road block in Yassuf. According to the Israeli DCL, the road block was not only removed to facilitate access of heavy trucks, but also to facilitate the harvest, which was the original reason.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
15 December: One Palestinian from An Nabi Saleh was injured with a live bullet during clashes between the IDF and a group of youths from the village.
19 December: At around 11am the IDF carried out a house search in Qarawat Bani Zeid and arrested three Palestinians. A group of youths stoned the IDF jeeps and the soldiers responded with firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. Two Palestinian youths were reported injured.
20 December: At around 9pm, clashes erupted between an IDF patrol and a group of youths in Qalandiya refugee camp. Two Palestinian males were reported injured.
20 December: At around midnight four IDF Jeeps surrounded a house at Al Ersal /Al Bireh neighbourhood and arrested three males from one family and confiscated two cars owned by the family.
• Throughout the week, the IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Beituniya, Ramallah , Qarawat Bani Zeid, Qalandiya and Deir Nidham, 12 Palestinian males were reported arrested.

Jerusalem/Jericho
20 December: Two Israeli right-wing activists were arrested after distributing leaflets in an army post, calling for Israeli troops to refuse military orders.
20 December: One Palestinian carrying a knife was arrested at Qalandiya checkpoint.
• IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in ‘ Ein As Sultan Camp in Jericho. One Palestinian was reported detained.

Hebron/Bethlehem
16 December: The Border Police held 10 Palestinian public taxis near the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem city. The Border Police tried to force the drivers to sign a document confiscating their cars for a month as they were accused of entering Israel with Palestinian plated cars. After a liaison between the Israeli and Palestinian DCLs the drivers and the cars were released without signing any documents.
16 December: The IDF broke into the offices of Khalil Ar Rahman Islamic Charitable Society in Hebron city, confiscated some computers and documents and caused considerable damage to the premises.
17 December: Israeli settlers burnt down three Palestinian shops near Avraham Avino settlement in the old city of Hebron. The shops were closed by a military order in 1994.
18 - 21 December: The IDF occupied a house in Yatta city, Hebron district, restricting the nine members of the Palestinian family into one room and converted the rest of the house into an observation post. The Palestinian DCL managed after liaison with the Israeli DCL to bring food to the family.
20 December: One Palestinian minor was injured in Halhul, Hebron district, during confrontations that took place between the IDF and Palestinian youths.
15 - 21 December: Search and arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem city with two Palestinians arrested. In Hebron search and arrest campaigns took place in the city of Hebron, Beit Ummar, Al Burj and Al Beirh with a total of 20 Palestinians arrested.

Gaza:
• No incidents to report.

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







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