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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
19 December 2006
Protection of Civilians – Weekly Briefing Notes
13 - 19 December 2006
Of note this week
- The Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire held for the fourth week in the Gaza Strip despite infringements by both sides - 11 homemade rockets were fired by Palestinians, the IDF killed a Palestinian man, IDF gunboats fired at Palestinian fishing boats injuring three fishermen, IDF tanks and bulldozers entered the Beit Hanoun area, and an IDF soldier was lightly injured from an explosive device placed on the inside of the Gaza border fence.
- Israel requested the closure of Rafah Crossing (Gaza Strip) to prevent the Palestinian Prime Minister (PM) from entering Gaza with a reported US$ 35 million in cash as he returned from an overseas trip. EUBAM observers temporarily suspended operations but the PM later crossed into the Gaza Strip without the money.
- In the West Bank, seven Palestinians – including a 13 year-old girl – were killed and 14 others injured during IDF operations.
- During the week, 127 IDF flying checkpoints were reported; 115 search and arrest campaigns were conducted, and 100 Palestinians were arrested/detained by the IDF.
- Security at the Tunnels and Qalandiya checkpoints around Jerusalem is now jointly managed by an Israeli private security firm and the Border Police. Private security guards will replace the Border Police although remain under the overall supervision of the IDF.
- The Israeli High Court delivered a final ruling on a petition to dismantle a road barrier along Roads 317 and 60 in south Hebron governorate. The concrete barrier which separated farmers and herders from their land must be dismantled within six months.
Palestinian internal violence
- High levels of violence were reported between Hamas and Fatah supporters in the second week of increased intra-factional fighting across the oPt. Seventeen Palestinians – including two children and one woman – were killed and 147 injured in internal violence. Tensions were particularly high following a call by the PA President for early Presidential and Parliamentary elections on 16 December.
- The situation is of particular concern in the Gaza Strip where armed clashes killed fourteen Palestinians and injured 110 others. A ceasefire between the factions was agreed to on 17 December but was soon broken. A new ceasefire was called for on 19 December.
- In one incident, a bodyguard of the Palestinian PM was killed and 18 Palestinians injured when armed clashes erupted between Hamas and Fatah security forces at Rafah crossing as the PM crossed into Gaza.
- In the West Bank, three Palestinians – including two 14 year-old boys – were killed, and 37 others injured in internal violence. Hamas and Fatah supporters organised rallies in support of their causes in most cities as tensions peaked. Other demonstrations were held by Palestinians protesting against the internal Palestinian fighting.
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