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


P.O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem
Phone: (972) 2 – 5829962 / 5825853, Fax: (972) 2 – 5825841,

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (1 - 7 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: 5; Injured: 30 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 1; Injured: 4 (approximate)

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

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

1 December: A PRCS ambulance was stopped and denied access at Huwwara checkpoint, while en route to transport a woman in labour from Baqat Al Hatab village to a local Palestinian hospital in Nablus. The soldiers denied the ambulance access under the pretext that the person accompanying the woman, her husband, did not have a permit to enter Nablus. After 20 minutes, the PRCS crew contacted the EMS station in Nablus and requested a second ambulance for a back-to-back transfer. The second PRCS ambulance from the Nablus EMS station arrived and the transfer took place. However, three minutes later, the woman delivered her baby in the ambulance.

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

7 December: A MoH ambulance came under IDF gunfire in Gaza City while attempting to evacuate a wounded man from the area. One of the ambulance crew was injured.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:

4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
1 December: The IDF demolished a structure used as an animal pen in Deir al 'Asal al Fauqa, Hebron District, because it was on the projected path of the Barrier.
1 December: The IDF destroyed the internal walls of three apartments in a four-storey building in Ad Duheisha camp, Bethlehem District. Seventeen persons lost accommodation, while 120 refugee children lost their place of education as one of the first floors was used as a kindergarten.
2 December: The Jerusalem municipality demolished a house in Beit Hanina for lack of building permit.
6 December: The Jerusalem municipality demolished a two-storey building, in which 25 people resided in, and two neighbouring shops in Jabal Al Mukabber.

7 December: Four animal pens were demolished in the Gaza City area of Al Shuja'ia.

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
7 December: Contractors started levelling land in Surif village south of Al Jab'a checkpoint, Hebron District, for the construction of the Barrier.

5 December: Thirty dunums (3 hectares) of land planted with olive trees were levelled in the Palestinian area east of Al Qarara in Khan Younis.
7 December: Forty dunums (4 hectares) of land planted with olive trees were levelled in the Al Shuja’ia ara, Gaza City.

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 the eased movement restrictions both within the governorate and to other governorates. Although all parts of Kafriat checkpoint remained manned during the week, no restrictions were imposed on vehicular traffic. The access for Arab-Israelis into Tulkarm town remained relatively easy, although yellow-plated vehicles were not permitted access. IDF patrols have been present in Tulkarm town almost every day during the week.
3 December: The IDF installed a gate between the two ends of the Barrier on each side of Road 55 enabling the IDF to physically close the checkpoint across the road. The gate is similar to the gate that was installed at Jaljoulia checkpoint in Qalqiliya in mid-October 2004.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local population. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open the whole week. The access for Arab-Israelis into Qalqiliya town remained relatively easy.
6 December: A number of flying checkpoints were observed on Road 55.
• 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.

2 For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please check the following link:

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
1 December: The IDF erected a flying checkpoint at the southern entrance of Jenin City. Palestinians were allowed to cross. At the same time another flying checkpoint was erected near Arrab village.
1 December: Four flying checkpoints were operating around Huwwara village while curfew was imposed.
4 December: A flying checkpoint was operating near Sarra junction (Road 60).
4 December: Major delays occurred at Zaatara (Tappouah) checkpoint for three hours.
5 December: Major delays occurred at Huwwara checkpoint for several hours.
6 December: The IDF closed several internal roads in Al Badhan village east of Nablus. The IDF stayed in the village for several hours.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
• No incidents reported.

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.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
2 December: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint on Route 356 between Hebron and Bethlehem districts at Wadi Sa’ir.
5 December: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint on bypass Road 60 and closed Husan–Al Khadr junction, Bethlehem District, in the afternoon preventing the movement of Palestinian pedestrians in and out of Bethlehem for more than four hours.

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 week, twice per day except on 6 December when it was opened 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.
2 to 6 December: Al Tuffah checkpoint was open only for persons leaving Al Mawasi.
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. Olive Harvest
Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
1 December: The IDF prevented Palestinians from Battir village, Bethlehem District, from collecting olives on their land near the railway on the Green Line. The IDF arrested three men and confiscated three vehicles and a tractor.

8. Access to schools:
West Bank:
1 December: Schools in Huwwara village, Nablus District, were closed for two days because of the curfew imposed on the village.
6 December: Three IDF jeeps surrounded the boys’ secondary school in Budrus village, Ramallah District, at around 8am. Some of the pupils started throwing stones at the jeeps and the soldiers responded with tear gas. No serious injuries were reported.
6 December: The school day was interrupted in Al Badhan village east of Nablus, with some students not able to reach their schools while others were forced to stay longer at the schools, due to the IDF presence in the village for several hours.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

• 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.


9. Labour/trade movement to Israel
5 December: Israeli authorities issued 272 permits for traders aged 30 years and older to be permitted to enter to Israel.
7 December: One-hundred-eighty agricultural labourers and 67 traders entered Israel, and 69 factory owners entered Erez industrial zone.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

10. Other:
2 December: Two Palestinians were injured at Awarta checkpoint.
3 December: The IDF entered Raba village east of Jenin City and killed one Palestinian. The circumstances around the death are yet not clear. The IDF was investigating the incident.
3 December: Two Palestinians were injured during clashes with the IDF in Tammun village east of Tubas.
3 December: One Palestinian was injured in Tubas City and several others suffered gas inhalation during clashes with IDF.
1 to 7 December: IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Nablus City, Askar refugee camp (Nablus), Zububa village (Jenin) and Balata refugee camp (Nablus ). A total of 29 Palestinians were arrested.

4 December: The IDF entered Qalqiliya town and threw flyers in the streets warning residents against aiding wanted militants.
5 December: An exchange of fire took place in Zeita north of Tulkarm town during an IDF operation. No injuries or arrests have been reported.
1 to 7 December: IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Qalqilya town and surrounding villages and in Tulkarm town. A total of 13 Palestinians were arrested.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
• According to the Palestinian DCL, the IDF now patrols Ramallah City centre almost on a nightly basis.
• An advance team from the European Union has arrived in Ramallah to set up operations for monitoring the Palestinian presidential elections on 9 January 2005.
6 December: The body of a 19-year-old youth from ‘Ein ‘Arik was found in Ramallah early in the morning. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility, saying that the youth was suspected of aiding Israelis.
6 December: The IDF evacuated “Sivian” military post that was located in an old building in Samiramees on the main road between Ramallah and Qalandiya. The IDF had been occupying the building since 1982.

• No incidents reported.

1 December: The IDF occupied a house in Al Khadr, Bethlehem District, restricting the Palestinian family to the ground floor and converting the rest into an observation post. The IDF left the following day
3, 4 and 5 December: Palestinian and Israeli peace activists held demonstrations in Beit Ula village, Hebron District, to protest against the building of the Barrier in the area. The IDF and the Israeli Border Police intervened by resorting to tear gas canisters and beating some protesters to prevent them from reaching the building site.
• 1 to 7 December: Search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem City, Beit Jala City, Ad Duheisha, Beit Sahur City, Nahhalin, 'Ayda camp, Al Khadr and Tuqu' in Bethlehem. A total of 16 Palestinians were arrested. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Hebron City, Beit Ummar, Sa'ir, Dura, Surif, Beit Kahil and Idhna with a total of 20 Palestinians arrested.

7 December: One IDF solider was killed and another four were injured in a Palestinian attack in Gaza City.
7 December: A large IDF force went into the eastern part of Gaza City in Al Shuja’ia area, as a result four Palestinians were killed and another 12 were injured.

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

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