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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
26 April 2005


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

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (20 - 26 April 2005)

INSIDE: Physical Protection - Deaths and Injuries -- Shelter and Property - People displaced/House demolition/Demolition orders -- Natural Resources - Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting -- Facilitation of Humanitarian Assistance - Incidents involving safety and movement of ambulances, medical teams, humanitarian organisations -- Access and Movement for Civilians - Curfews, Access to Education, Access to Employment, Closures/Movement Restrictions -- Additional Protection Issues

Of note this week:
• Palestinian woman miscarries while delayed at Khan Younis checkpoint (section 4).
• Lifting of age restrictions for Palestinian males crossing Nablus checkpoints (section 5D and table).
• 8-9 metre high concrete wall of Bethlehem Barrier installed (section 3).
• Full closure for Passover holiday (section 5).

1. Physical Protection

Deaths and Injuries

Palestinians: Deaths: 1; Injured: 25 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 1; Injured: 4
Internationals: Deaths: 0; Injured: 2

Selected incidents:
21 April: A roadside bomb went off as an IDF jeep was patrolling the Green Line north of Karni crossing. Three IDF soldiers were reported injured. Following the explosion, the IDF closed Abu Houli crossing. While some Palestinians tried to cross the checkpoint on foot from north to the south, IDF soldiers opened fire injuring two Palestinians. Two other Palestinians were treated for tear gas inhalation.
21 April: Four Palestinians and two international activists were reported injured by rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters fired by the IDF in a demonstration against Barrier construction in Bi’lin, Ramallah.
22 April: The IDF entered Balata refugee camp, Nablus, and surrounded one house. An exchange of fire took place between the IDF and armed Palestinians. One Palestinian was injured.
23 April: One IDF soldier was stabbed and injured near Ganim settlement, east of Jenin, by a Palestinian.
25 April: A group of Israeli settlers from Elon More settlement east of Nablus city beat an elderly shepherd, aged 70, from Beit Dajan village while he was grazing his sheep near the village. The Palestinian was moderately injured and taken to a hospital in Nablus.
25 April: A 30-year-old Palestinian taxi driver was shot dead by Israeli troops after approaching a flying checkpoint at the Halhul bridge, outside the city of Hebron. During the incident, IDF soldiers fired at the taxi and shot and killed one of its own soldiers.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, UNRWA, WHO, IDF website, Israeli MFA, offices of governors.

2. Shelter and Property

People displaced/House demolitions/Demolition orders

Total houses/structures demolished: 0
Total residents affected: 0
Total partially-built houses/structures demolished: 0

West Bank:
20 April: Six demolition orders for illegal construction of sanitation facilities were issued by the Israeli civil administration to Palestinian families in Mirkez hamlet south east of Yatta town in the Hebron Governorate.
22 April: The IDF occupied a two-storey house during the evening in An Nabi Salih village, Ramallah and moved the family into the first floor and controlled their movements until the following evening.


3. Natural Resources

Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting1

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas Governorates:
22 April: The IDF bulldozed several olive trees on the side of the road near Sanur village, Jenin.

Qalqiliya/Tulkarm Governorates:
• No incidents to report

Salfit Governorate:
20 April: The construction around the Ariel settlement block was stopped after the Israeli High Court of Justice issued three injunctions in response to petitions presented by the councils of Palestinian villages in the area.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:
• No incidents to report

Hebron Governorate:
24 April: A confiscation order for a stretch of land 8-metres long and 1-metre wide was issued to build a protection wall for an Israeli police station in the area of the Kiryat Arba settlement.

Bethlehem Governorate:
• The IDF has begun to install a 8-9 metre high concrete wall to build the section of the Barrier along Caritas Road in Bethlehem near Rachel’s Tomb.
• Construction and land levelling continues along the Barrier route from Gilo checkpoint to Rachel’s Tomb including levelling for the new Israeli access road to Rachel’s Tomb.

Jerusalem Governorate:

North West Jerusalem
• The IDF continued levelling land between Har Adar Settlement and Beit Surik. Levelling also continued in the area between Qatanna and Kharayib Umm al Lahim villages and between Beit Ijza and Biddu villages.
22 April: The IDF handed over an order (No.81/05) to Beit Surik landowners, requisitioning 118.4 dunums (11.84 hectares) of Palestinian-owned land for Barrier construction.

North Jerusalem
• Construction of the Barrier continued along Road 60 between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling to construct a new checkpoint/terminal located south of the current checkpoint is also ongoing.
• Construction and land levelling continued east of Qalandiya checkpoint for construction of DCL offices, a parking lot and a road.
• Land levelling and construction of the Barrier continued alongside the road between Jaba’, Hizma and Anata.

East Jerusalem
• Land levelling is ongoing near the Coptic housing project and in Wadi Ayyad near Neve Yaakov settlement, as well as on the northern side of Shufat Refugee camp and ‘Anata town.

South/Southeast Jerusalem
• Barrier construction is nearly finished from Al ‘Eizariyya to Sur Bahir where construction is ongoing on the eastern and the southern sides of the village.

Jericho Governorate:
• No incidents to report

The Gaza Strip:
22 April: An IDF bulldozer from Kfar Darom settlement entered the Palestinian area northwest of the settlement and levelled land.

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

1 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare

4. Facilitation of Humanitarian Assistance

Incidents involving safety and movement of ambulances and medical teams

West Bank:
• No incidents to report

The Gaza Strip:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (more than 30 minutes): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

20 April: A 35 year old pregnant woman who was hemorrhaging, was forced to give birth in a PRCS ambulance delayed for one hour at Al Tuffah checkpoint in Khan Younis. The baby was born premature and died inside the ambulance.
Jerusalem – Access into Jerusalem has been frequently denied to UN staff in the first three months of 2005. The IDF, at some checkpoints, particularly Hizma, have refused to recognize UN identity cards that until now have been accepted.
Closed Areas (Seam Zone) -UN humanitarian agencies are not applying for separate green permits for their Palestinian staff to enter the closed areas on the grounds that these areas are part of the West Bank. As a result, their access has been frequently denied.

5. Access and Movement for Civilians

A. Curfews
• No incidents to report

B. Access to Education

West Bank:
23 April: Palestinian students from Cordoba Girls School in the old city of Hebron were attacked by a group of Israeli settlers while returning home. According to the Ministry of Education in Hebron, 15 girls were injured.
25 April: The IDF prevented 180 Palestinian students of the Cordoba Girls School from attending school, stating that this was a precautionary measure to avoid attacks on them by Israeli settlers during the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The Gaza Strip:
• During the reporting period, the 15 to 17 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.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

C. Access to Employment

West Bank:

• Permits issued for the month of March: A total closure was imposed on the West Bank on 22 April to coincide with the Jewish holiday of Passover; Palestinian workers have not been allowed to enter Israel since.

Sources: Palestinian DCL

The Gaza Strip:
• Workers and merchants must be 35 years or older and married with children. (Source UNSCO/UNRWA).

Sources: UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

D. Closures/Movement Restrictions:

A general closure was imposed on the West Bank on 22 April by the IDF who stated that it will continue until end of the Jewish Passover holiday.

Jenin Governorate:
23 April: The IDF established flying checkpoints at the entrances of Deir Abu Da’if and 'Aba villages and prevented Palestinian movement for several hours.

Nablus Governorate:
20 April: Beit Iba checkpoint was closed for two hours.
22 to 26 April: The IDF closed Za'tara (Tapu'akh) checkpoint for residents of the Northern West Bank who were trying to travel south.
23 April: Major delays occurred at Hamra checkpoint throughout the day.
24 April: Shave Shomeron checkpoint was manned for several hours.
25 April: Age restrictions on movement through Nablus checkpoints were lifted; Palestinian males aged between 14 and 20 years of age previously needed permits.
• IDF flying checkpoints were set up on Road 57 near An Nassariya village and near the entrance of Burin village.

Tubas Governorate:
• No incidents to report

Qalqiliya Governorate:
25 April: Israeli settlers from the Kedumim settlement prevented Palestinian farmers from Kafr Qaddum village from accessing their lands.
20 April to date: The IDF at the Ras ‘Atiya Barrier gate prevented Palestinian residents of Ras at Tira, Ad Dab’a, Wadi ar Rasha and ‘Arab ar Ramadin from carrying food supplies through the gate. The Barrier gate east of Qalqiliya is now the only access point through which food supplies can be brought it.
21, 22 and 25 April: The IDF established flying checkpoints at the entrances of Qalqiliya (DCO) and ‘Azzun carrying out ID checks and car searches. Flying checkpoints were also reported throughout the week at Jit junction.

Salfit Governorate
• Throughout the week, the gate at Yasuf Road was partially manned between 5am and 6pm.
23 April to date: The IDF closed the Deir Ballut checkpoint for the Jewish Passover holiday, preventing the movement of Palestinian vehicular and pedestrian traffic northbound and southbound.

Tulkarm Governorate:
• Flying checkpoints were reported throughout the week at the entrances of Baqa ash Sharqiya, Bal’a, ‘Illar ‘Attil, Zeita, Seida, Deir al Ghusun, Al Jarushiya, ‘Anabta villages and at the junction of Far’un.
22 April to date: The IDF closed At Tayba checkpoint preventing the movement of traders and workers. The commercial part of the checkpoint remained operational.

Hebron Governorate:
• The movement of Palestinians in the old city of Hebron has been severely restricted during the reporting period with security measures also intensified before the Jewish holiday of Passover. Most access routes from the old city to the Tomb of the Patriarchs have been closed and access to the holy site was restricted completely on 25 and 26 April.

Bethlehem Governorate:
• No incidents to report

Ramallah/Al Bireh Governorate:
21 April: The IDF replaced the earth mound at the eastern entrance to Umm Safa with a road gate which the IDF controls for access to the village. No Palestinians are permitted through this gate.

Jerusalem Governorate:
21 April: Palestinians from the West Bank travelling to Al Aqsa Mosque on the day of Muhammad’s birthday were denied access at Israeli checkpoints around the city.
22 April: Due to the general closure imposed in the West Bank and Jerusalem for the Jewish Passover holiday, Israeli forces were deployed increasingly at main checkpoints around the city, with enforced checking of Palestinians entering the city. UN local Palestinian staff were denied entry to Jerusalem.
24 April: The IDF established a flying checkpoint on Road 1 between Mishor Adumim industrial settlement and the entrance to Al ‘Eizariyya town.

Jericho Governorate:
• Palestinian West Bank (non-Jericho District) residents are still not allowed access to and from Road 90 at the Yitav checkpoint.

The Enclosed Areas in the Gaza Strip:

Since 13 February, 2005, the IDF has permitted Palestinians aged 30 and older residing in As-Seafa to pass in and out with out any prior coordination; males and females aged between 16 and 30 are still required to have 48 hours prior coordination. The gate is open two times daily (irregularly) at 7 -9 am and 2-4 pm. These hours do not coincide with school hours. No vehicles are permitted to enter or exit. Coordination for international organisations to enter the area has been problematic. The IDF requires prior coordination in order to bring goods into the area.
• This week, two to three persons were prevented daily from entering the area despite having proper documentation. A 45-year-old woman with a tooth problem has not been allowed to leave As-Seafa to visit a dentist since 20 April.
• Since 23 April 2005, the x-ray machine at the gate has been out of order and a dog is now sniffing goods (including fuel supplies and food products) before they enter As-Seafa.

Al Mawassi
• IDF restrictions remain, with the entry-exit gate at Al Tuffah checkpoint generally open twice daily for limited numbers of Al Mawassi ID holders - from approximately 8am to 1pm, and 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 aged 18 to 25. Vehicles are not allowed to pass, with some exceptions given for international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
• Tel Es-Sultan checkpoint remained closed.

Al Maa’ni
• For the last 2 ½ years, (since 20 July 2002) the IDF has prevented all vehicular movement in and out of this Palestinian area adjacent to the the Kfar Darom settlement. The IDF has also erected a fence around the area. The area remains a closed military zone, following a suicide attack on 27 February 2004.
• Movement is restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate generally open 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.

Abu Nahiya
• A fence was placed around Abu Nahiya area, south of Kfar Darom settlement, in the corner of Kissufim Road and Salah Eddin Street. Approximately 16 families reside in the area. No vehicles are allowed in and out of the area. The fence is open 24 hours for residents.

Source: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

West Bank:
24 April: Israeli settlers reportedly released their dogs on sheep belonging to shepherds from the village of Mantiqat Shi’ib Al-Batin, south of Hebron in the area known as Masafer Yatta. The dogs killed one sheep and injured another three. The Israeli Police are investigating the incident.

Gaza Strip:
• During the reporting period, a total of eight homemade rockets were fired against Israel and Israeli settlements inside the Gaza Strip.
22 April: Two related incidents reported: Palestinian gunmen opened fire at IDF outpost near Morag settlement; IDF soldiers fired at Al Attatra Palestinian area. No injuries were reported.
24 April: An IDF tank, a bulldozer and an excavator moved from the border fence with Egypt and entered about 50 metres into the Palestinian area opposite Block J. The IDF planted and detonated explosives.
25 April: Palestinians opened fire on an IDF outpost near the Gaza Strip settlement of Gadid. No injuries were reported.
26 April: Two IDF tanks, a bulldozer and an excavator moved from the border fence with Egypt and entered about 50 metres into the Palestinian area opposite Block J. The IDF planted and detonated explosives.
26 April: IDF troops found and safely detonated a roadside bomb near the border fence opposite Block J.
26 April: Two related incidents reported: Palestinian militants fired an anti-tank rocket at an IDF armoured personnel carrier stationed at the border fence; IDF soldiers fired heavy machine gun fire for five minutes at Block J. No injuries were reported.

Total arrests: 67 Palestinians

• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Nablus city, Balata refugee camp (Nablus), Beit Furik village (Nablus), Jenin city and ‘Arraba village (Jenin). In total, 21 Palestinians were reported arrested.

• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Seida (Tulkarm), Jayyus and Jit junction (Qalqiliya) and Qalqiliya city. In total, 19 Palestinians were reported arrested.

Ramallah /Al Bireh:
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Deir Qaddis, An Nabi Salih and Silwad. Five Palestinians were reported arrested.

• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Dura, Hebron city, Surif, Adh Dhahiriya, Al Burj, Beit Mirsim in the Governorate of Hebron; 11 Palestinians were arrested.
• In Bethlehem Governorate, searches took place in Al Khadr, Beit Ta'mir, Al Fureidis, Al-‘Asakreh. Four Palestinians were arrested by the IDF.

• An IDF search-and-arrest campaign took place in Ar Ram, north of Jerusalem. Two Palestinians were arrested.

The Gaza Strip:
23 and 24 April: In two separate incidents, the IDF arrested a total of five Palestinian youths when they tried to enter Israel.

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

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