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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 May 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

Protection of Civilians - Weekly Briefing Notes
(25 - 31 May 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:
• During the week, 16 missiles and mortar shells were fired at Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip. No injuries reported (see section 6).

1. Physical Protection



Selected Incidents:
• 25 May: A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was injured when IDF soldiers fired from the outpost near Neveh Dekalim settlement, the Gaza Strip.
25 to 31 May: Throughout the week, Israeli settlers in the Old City of Hebron threw stones at Palestinian homes in the area of the Tel Rumeida settlement and the old vegetable market; a 12-year-old Palestinian girl and a 30-year-old Palestinian man were hospitalised as a result of the attacks.
26 May: One Palestinian was reported injured when IDF soldiers in the outpost near Salah Ed-Din gate fired in the direction of Block “O” south of Rafah, the Gaza Strip.
28 May: Palestinian militants opened fire towards an IDF position near the Move Dotan settlement, Jenin, from a car driving on Road 585. The IDF fired at the car killing one Palestinian, aged 22, and injuring two others in the car. The injured Palestinians were arrested.
28 May: A Palestinian man with reported heart problems died at Beit Iba checkpoint Nablus; he waited at the checkpoint for 40 minutes as he was travelling to a hospital in Nablus.
29 May: A 28-year-old Palestinian from Yatta town was killed by the IDF in the Old City of Hebron. According to the IDF, the Palestinian approached the checkpoint with the intention of stabbing the soldiers. After a warning shot was fired, the man was hit in the legs and later shot again fatally as he tried to stab the soldiers. The IDF declared the area a military zone and later imposed a curfew for approximately three hours.
29 May: One alleged Palestinian militant, aged 24, was killed when a homemade rocket he was trying to launch prematurely exploded in Khan Younis, the Gaza Strip.

2. Shelter and Property



Selected Incidents:
26 May: The IDF entered Khirbet ‘Atuf, east of Tubas, and demolished four structures used for animals. These animals contribute to the livelihood of four families.
30 May: One Palestinian house was partially damaged when it was hit by an IDF missile in Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip.
30 May: The IDF demolished a chicken coup in the Battir, Bethlehem Governorate, following a final demolition order issued three days earlier by the IDF Civil Administration. The structure, according to the owner, was the source of income for his family of 10.


3. Natural Resources

Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting1

Nablus/Jenin and Tubas Governorates:
25 May: The IDF handed two evacuation orders to farmers from Beit Dajan, Nablus to leave their land and return it to its previous state within 45 days. The order affects 6 dunums (0.6 hectares) of land planted with olive trees.

Tulkarm Governorate:
• Ongoing incidents:
Qalqiliya Governorate:
26 May: Israeli settlers from Kdumim settlement set fire to agricultural land belonging to a Palestinian farmer from Kafr Qaddum village. Three dunums (0.3 hectares) were destroyed before farmers managed to put out the fire.

Salfit Governorate:
25 May: About 150 olive trees were uprooted and taken away in conjunction with land levelling for construction of the Barrier near Az Zawiya village.
26 May: Israeli contractors started levelling land north of Salfit city for the construction of the Barrier in the Ari’el settlement block area.
• Ongoing incidents:
Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:
• No new incidents to report
• Ongoing incidents:
Hebron Governorate:
29 May: Settlers from Ma’on settlement, Hebron Governorate, harvested 2 dunums (0.2 hectares) of agricultural land planted with wheat that belonged to Palestinian farmers in At Tuwani. Following the intervention of the IDF, the settlers were removed.
• Ongoing incidents:
Bethlehem Governorate:
• On going incidents:
Jerusalem Governorate:
May 25: The Israeli Supreme Court issued an injunction order to stop land levelling northwest of Al Jib in Bir Nabalah enclave; requisition orders to confiscate about 1466 dunums (146.6 hectares) of land to construct the Barrier and alternative roads were handed to Palestinian residents in January 2005.
May 28: The Jerusalem Municipality issued a demolition order for a Mosque in Beit Hanina. The mosque was built several years ago but was under renovation.
• Ongoing incidents:
Jericho Governorate:
• No new incidents to report.

The Gaza Strip:
• No new incidents to report.


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

4. Restrictions on Humanitarian Assistance

West Bank:
• No reported incidents.

The Gaza Strip:
• No reported incidents.

5. Access and Movement for Civilians

a) Curfew


25 May: The IDF imposed a curfew on Al Mughayyir, east Ramallah District, and closed the two main entrances to the village as well as the track to the solid waste dump site. The IDF commander for the Ramallah area reported to the village council that the curfew was in response to stone-throwing by youths at vehicles on Road 458. The curfew was lifted the following morning.

b) Access to Education

West Bank:
25 May: The IDF held five pupils from Wadi ar Rasha at Ras ‘Atiya gate for two hours as they were returning from their classes in Ras ‘Atiya, Qalqiliya.
• Due to a curfew, the schools in Al Mughayyir, Ramallah, were closed for two days and final exams were postponed.

The Gaza Strip:
• No new incidents to report.

c) Access to Employment

West Bank: April


The Gaza Strip:
• As of 30 May, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Labour, the total number of Gaza Strip workers permits was 5,907 including 1,873 with overnight stay; 825 permits were issued to Erez Industrial Zone workers.



d) Closures/Movement restrictions

Nablus Governorate:
27 May: The IDF closed Beit Iba checkpoint for one hour after a Palestinian was found carrying explosives at the checkpoint. The explosives were detonated by IDF and the Palestinian was arrested.
28 May: Hamra checkpoint was closed for Palestinians heading north.

Jenin Governorate:
• No major incidents to report.

Tubas Governorate:
• No major incidents to report.

Tulkarm Governorate:
30 and 31 May: The IDF closed Deir Al Ghusun agricultural gate, which will affect some 20 farmers, who have valid green permits allowing them to access to their land on the other side of the Barrier.
• Ongoing incidents:
Qalqiliya Governorate:
29 May: The IDF closed the DCO checkpoint in the afternoon for several hours and conducted a search campaign in the fields around the area.

Salfit Governorate:
• No major incidents to report.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:
• No incidents to report.

Hebron Governorate:
• Flying checkpoints were set up throughout the week in Hebron Governorate; four people were detained.

Bethlehem Governorate:
• Between 26 and 29 May several checkpoints were set up
• The IDF opened the second lane at Gilo checkpoint to allow two-way traffic to cross.

Jerusalem Governorate:
25 May: Israeli Border Police closed the Ar Ram checkpoint for several hours and arrested about 30 Palestinian with West Bank IDs.

Jericho Governorate:
• Ongoing incidents:
West Bank: Reported flying checkpoints


The Enclosed Areas in the Gaza Strip:
As-Seafa:
• Since 13 February 2005, the IDF has permitted Palestinians aged 30 and older residing in As-Seafa to pass in and out without 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 7.30am and 2pm. 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; people are still facing difficulties getting their belongings into and/or out of the area, despite approved coordination.
• During the week, two to three persons were prevented daily from entering the area despite having proper documentation.
29 May: the IDF allowed cooking gas bottles into the area. This is only allowed during the afternoon opening hours.
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. Males aged 16 to 25 years who are Al Mawassi ID holders are required prior coordination to pass though Al Tuffah checkpoint. 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 since 14 January 2004.
• About 100 persons are allowed into Al-Mawassi each day. Dozens of people experience lengthy delays as they try to enter.
Al-Ma’ani:
• Since 20 July 2002, the IDF has prevented all vehicular movement in and out of the Palestinian area adjacent to 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 organizations into the area remains problematic.
Abu Nahiya:
• A fence was placed around the 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.
Abu al-Ajin Area:
• Several Palestinian families live isolated and fenced in north and south of Kissufim Road in the Abu al-Ajin area. The families have their own key to the gate in the fence; however their movement is restricted to opening hours three to four times daily. The area is unreachable by vehicles.

6. Additional Protection Issues

• During the week a total of 16 missiles and mortar shells were fired at Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip. Also, a roadside bomb was activated near an IDF troop patrolling on the border fence with Egypt. No injuries reported.
26 May: According to the village council in At Tuwani, south of Hebron Governorate, settlers from the Ma’on settlement stole 13 sheep belonging to a farmer from the nearby hamlet of Maghayir al Abeed. A complaint was filed with the Israeli Police by the Palestinian owner.
27 May: IDF coastal vessels pursued Palestinian fishing boats opposite Deir El Balah beach, the Gaza Strop. The IDF fired in the direction of the Palestinian boats. No injuries were reported but one boat was damaged.
31 May: The IDF occupied a house in Dura, southwest of Hebron Governorate, confining the inhabitants to a room and using the building as an observation point. According to the Palestinian DCL, medical access was facilitated for one sick child, but refused for a second one suffering from complications from a recent mumps vaccination. As of 31 May, access was still being negotiated.

Searches/Arrests/Detentions











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