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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
4 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 (29 December 2004 - 4 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 -- Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: Deaths: 21; Injured: 54 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 0; Injured: 10 (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): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

3 January: A PRCS ambulance on its way to pick up a wounded Palestinian in Beitunia, Ramallah Governorate, was stopped for 20 minutes by IDF soldiers in the area. The PRCS staff could not transport the wounded for treatment in Ramallah. The wounded as well as a PRCS medic was instead taken by an IDF jeep to Ofer Military Detention Camp. The PRCS medic was allowed to return to Ramallah.

Gaza:
Denial of access: 1
Delay (30 minutes): 2
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 4

30 December: A PRCS ambulance came under IDF gunfire while attempting to evacuate wounded Palestinians in Al Amal area in Khan Younis. No injuries or damage to the ambulance was reported.
30 December: A MoH ambulance attempted to evacuate wounded Palestinians from Al Amal area in Khan Younis when warning shots were fired in its direction.
30 December: Despite prior coordination, two PRCS medics were caught in crossfire in Khan Younis for at least 30 minutes when they were attempting to evacuate an elderly patient. The crew did not manage to evacuate the patient.
1 January: Despite prior coordination with the IDF, a PRCS ambulance was delayed for five hours while attempting to evacuate a family from Khan Younis.
4 January: A MoH ambulance came under IDF gunfire while attempting to evacuate wounded Palestinians from an area close to the Erez Industrial Zone.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
No incidents reported

Gaza:
29 December: One house was damaged in Khan Younis when it was hit by two Israeli tank shells.
31 December to 2 January: Thirteen houses were demolished and another seven houses partially destroyed in Khan Younis. Another 39 houses sustained damages of varying degrees. Thirty-eight families (255 people) were made homeless. Severe damage to the infrastructure in Khan Younis was reported.



5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
29 December: Following an explosion in Al Funduq, Qalqilya Governorate, the IDF started to level land on both sides of Road 55 in the vicinity of the explosion.
• Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballut and Ar Zawiya, Salfit Governorate, has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation for construction of the Barrier.
• Land levelling near Kafriat checkpoint in Tulkarm Governorate continued throughout the week in preparation for construction of a new tunnel under Road 57.

Gaza:
29 December: Ten dunums (1 hectare) of land planted with palm and olive trees were levelled in the Palestinian area west of the Kfar Dorom settlement in Deir el Balah.
31 December: Six dunums (.6 hectares) of land planted with olive and palm trees were levelled in the Palestinian area west of the Kfar Dorom settlement in Deir Al Balah.

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. 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 Arab-Israelis travelling 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. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open the entire week. No restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Qalqiliya town.
• 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 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:
30 December: Major delays occurred at Tayasir Gate (Tubas) as dozens of Palestinians were held for several hours.
2 to 4 January: A flying checkpoint was erected at Yits'har Junction.
4 January: A flying checkpoint was erected on Road 60 near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village (Nablus).
4 January: A flying checkpoint was erected on Jerusalem Road in Nablus City for two hours.
4 January: A flying checkpoint was erected at the entrance of Burin village (Nablus).

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
1 January: The IDF searched cars and checked Palestinian IDs at An Nabi Salih Gate throughout the day. Long delays were experienced at the gate.

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.
• Palestinian pedestrian movement from the Abu Dis area to Jerusalem has become increasingly more difficult since Israeli Border Police have been stopping Palestinians daily at the Monastery Gate.

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. Two sections of 3-metre high concrete wall slabs, both approximately 50-metres long, have been erected southwest and north of Hizma checkpoint.
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.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in Bet Duqqu, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim and Bet Anan. In Biddu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik, construction is halted.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
1, 2 January: The IDF closed the main entrance into Husan village at the junction with bypass Road 375, Bethlehem District. Curfew was imposed on the village preventing the movement of Palestinian residents of Nahhalin and Battir villages, whose main road passes through Husan.
29 December to date: One-thousand-sixty-seven Jerusalem permits were issued for Christmas for Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem District. The permits are valid for one week starting from the date issued.

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.
2 January: The gate was closed.
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.
All week: Tel As-Sultan checkpoint remained closed.
30 December: Al Tuffah checkpoint was closed.
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:
• Hundreds of students from Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya, (East Jerusalem Governorate) are experiencing difficulties reaching schools in Jerusalem Governorate. The gate near Ras al ‘Amud has been closed since 1 November 2004 and last week Israeli Border Police stopped Palestinian pedestrians from using the Monastery Gate. Barrier construction around Ar Ram is also creating difficulties for students trying to reach their schools in Jerusalem.

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 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 2 January, no pupil was allowed out of As Seafa.
29 December: As a result of IDF shooting toward Rafah camp, a window of an UNRWA school was broken.
30 December: As a result of an IDF military operation in Khan Younis, schooling was severely disturbed in the four schools of Al Amal neighbourhood in northwest Khan Younis.
31 December: The boundary wall of an UNRWA school in Khan Younis was destroyed by an IDF bulldozer.
3 January: A 12-year-old UNRWA pupil was shot and injured in his shoulder while in the yard of Rafah Elementary 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 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, 1,700 workers’ permits were issued and 517 permits for traders. In Bethlehem District, 577 workers' permits were issued and 635 permits for traders.

Gaza:
• Israeli authorities issued 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and older.



9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest operations took place in the following locations: Nablus City and ‘Anin village (Jenin). Nine Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
29 December: An 11-year-old boy was shot in the leg while near the Barrier in Qaffin north of Tulkarm Governorate. He was allegedly throwing stones at an IDF vehicle. The wounded boy was subsequently brought to the hospital in Afula in Israel for treatment. Three other children were detained by the IDF.
29 December: Palestinians opened fire against an Israeli convoy near Baqa Ash Sharqiya in Tulkarm Governorate resulting in light injury to two IDF soldiers. The IDF immediately erected flying checkpoints in the area from Illar to Nazlat Isa.
29 December: Settlers from Khermesh settlement attacked a Palestinian vehicle near Qaffin in northern Tulkarm Governorate with stones. Two Palestinians were reported wounded.
30 December: A device exploded near an Israeli vehicle in Qalqiliya and shots were subsequently fired at the vehicle. There were no reports of injuries.
Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Nur Shams refugee camp (one person injured), Qaffin (one person injured), Attil, (all Tulkarm Governorate), Tulkarm refugee camp, Tulkarm town, Azzun, Qalqiliya town Kfur Qaddum, Hajja, Al Funduq (all Qalqilya) and Kfur Dik in Salfit. At least 10 Palestinians were reported detained during these IDF operations.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
29 December: The IDF surrounded a house in Dura al Qar’ in search of a wanted Palestinian. The wanted person was not there. His mother and sister were allegedly detained under threats to be held under detention until the wanted person surrendered to the IDF.
31 December: Five Palestinians were injured by rubber coated metal bullets in confrontations with the IDF in Al Jalazun refugee camp.
3 January: The IDF surrounded a building in the industrial zone of Beituniya. Heavy shooting was heard in the area. The IDF later left with two detained Palestinians.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Qarawat Bani Zeid, Kafr ‘Ein , Deir Ghassaneh, Dura al Qar’, Surda, Bir Zeit, Silwad and Beituniya. A total of 27 Palestinian were detained.

Jerusalem/Jericho
• No incidents reported.

Hebron/Bethlehem
29 December: Israeli settlement guards from Avighayil outpost south of Hebron District beat three Palestinian minors from Am Fagarah and took two sheep.
29 December: Israeli settlers set fire to two Palestinian commercial shops near Abraham Avino settlement in the old city of Hebron. The shops were closed by a military order in 1994.
29 December: Settlers from Ma'on settlement attacked four reporters from MBC TV in At Tuwani village, south of Hebron District, and prevented them from taking photos of the school children from Tuba who are escorted by the IDF. No injuries were reported.
1 January to date: The Israel Border Police entered Al Walaja village, Bethlehem District, and confiscated two private cars (for one month), a truck belonging to a bakery from Beit Jala, and a bus used by the schoolchildren in the village to reach Beit Jala. All confiscations appear to have taken place because the vehicles were in an area considered to be in the Municipality of Jerusalem.
1 January: One Israeli settler was injured when her car was stoned while she was driving on bypass Road 375 near Husan village, Bethlehem District.
2 January: Settlers from the outpost of Havat Ma'on, south Hebron District, attacked the schoolchildren from Tuba (in the area known as Masafer Yatta) and prevented them from reaching their school in At Tuwani.
3 January: In the evening, the IDF occupied a house in Husan village, Bethlehem District, confining the seven members of the Palestinian family to one room and converting the rest of the house into an observation post. The house is still occupied.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem District. But no arrests were reported. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in the City of Hebron, Dura, Khursa, Beit Ummar, Halhul, Beit Ula, Al 'Arub Camp, Idhna, Kharas, Al Majd and Bani Na'im. A total of 40 Palestinians were arrested.

Gaza:
30 December: The IDF divided the Gaza Strip by closing Beach Road separating the northern area from the middle and the south.
2 January: Twenty IDF tanks and bulldozers, entered Abu Safiyyah hill east of the town of Beit Hanoun.
2 January: Palestinian pilgrims were allowed through Erez crossing for the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Israeli buses escorted by the IDF transported them from Erez to Rafah Terminal.
4 January: Seven Palestinians were killed, including six members of the same family, when an IDF tank shell hit an agricultural area in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia.

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






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