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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 August 2004


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 (25 - 31 August 2004)

INSIDEINSIDE: Casualties -- Incidents involving ambulances -- Curfew -- House demolition/Demolition orders/People displaced -- Land levelling/confiscation -- Closures/restrictions on movement -- Water -- Labour movement to Israel -- Other -- Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: 8 deaths; 52 injured
Israelis: 16 deaths (suicide bombings on two buses in Beersheba); 103 injured

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank
24 August: A PRCS ambulance was stopped at Gush Etzion Checkpoint while on route from Hebron to Beit Jala Hospital. PRCS says one of the ambulance medics was beaten by an IDF soldier. After an hour-and-a-half delay, the medic was released and the ambulance was allowed to pass.
29 August: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for one hour and denied access, Jerusalem AzZayem Checkpoint.

Gaza:

24 August: A Gaza PRCS ambulance came under direct IDF gunfire, while on route to Qararah. No injuries were reported. The ambulance was allowed to pass after a one-and-a-half hour delay. Israeli authorities are still not allowing male Palestinian aged 16 to 35 and those with metal implants to travel out of Gaza through Rafah terminal. Ministry of Health (MoH) reported that a large numbers of patients with medical referral documents for necessary treatments abroad have been denied access.

27 August : A PRCS ambulance in Nablus was stopped and searched. Total delay time was one hour.

29 August: A MoH ambulance was delayed for three hours at Abu Houli Checkpoint and searched by IDF.

31 August: A MoH ambulance was delayed for three hours at Abu Houli Checkpoint and denied access.

Denial of access: 2 incidents
Delay (30 minutes – three hours): 4 incidents (Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus, and Hebron)
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 1 incident (noted above, Gaza)

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:

4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders/People Displaced
5. Land levelling/Confiscation1

West Bank:

§ 31 August: The IDF issued a second amendment of the requisition order T/14/03 of the Rachel Tomb area, Bethlehem district. According to the municipality of Bethlehem, 40 shops and houses along the Bethlehem road will now fall on the Palestinian side, while Rachel’s Tomb will be accessible only from the Jerusalem side.

Gaza:
§ 25 August: Thirty-eight dunums (3.8 hectares) of olive, citrus and palm trees were levelled in Al Mughraqa area, south of Netzarim settlement.

Sources: OCHA FCU

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement

___________
1 4 dunums = 1 acre
2 For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please check the following link: http://www.reliefweb.int/hicopt/maps/Closure/mar/checkpoints_march04.pdf


Hebron & Bethlehem
§ 25-26 August: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint both mornings for a few hours on Halhul Bridge, Hebron district, hampering the movement of Palestinians out of Hebron city.
§ 25-26 August: The IDF and Israeli police set up a flying checkpoint at An Nabi Younes the main entrance into Halhul, Hebron district, hampering the movement of Palestinians in and out of Halhul city.
§ 25 August: The IDF closed the shops on Shohada Street, in the Old City of Hebron during a military operation in the area.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
§ In Salfit district, movement between the villages is still hampered by road blocks and earth mounds, and the prohibition to travel on the main roads. This week saw virtually no military operations; only search campaigns took place in Anabta and Tulkarm.
§ According to the Israeli DCL, the tunnel connecting Habla with Qalqilya town was officially opened on Tuesday, 31 August. The DCL has informed OCHA that the IDF will closely monitor the movement through Habla and Qalqiliya South gates, with a view to determine opening hours. Neither of the two municipalities has completed connecting roads with the tunnel on their respective sides.
§ A significant number of barrier gates have changed their status over the past weeks and new expanded opening hours have been announced by the IDF. These include the following gates in Tulkarm: new expanding hours for Deir al Ghusun and Schweika, while Jbara is now open; and in Qalqiliya: Falamya South is now closed, while Falamya North, Jayyous North and South, Qalqiliya Habla, Isla, Kfur Thulth, Ras Tira, Habla, Izbat Jalud and Izbat Salman all have new expanded opening hours.
§ The preparation work for the Barrier construction in Ar Zawiya remains suspended following a decision from the Israeli High Court of Justice. Also, preparation work around Ariel is suspended pending new a court decision.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
§ 29 August: A flying check point was established on the road leading to Jenin near Kafr Ra'I village (Jenin).
.
Ramallah/al-Bireh governorate:
§ 28 August: A flying checkpoint was set up around 12pm on Road 60 near Silwad causing long traffic delays. There were also long delays of up to two hours late afternoon/evening at Qalandiya checkpoint.
· 30 August: At around 6.30pm, the IDF blocked the main western entrance to Al Mughayyir village with large boulders and a large metal container. A nearby dirt road used by Al Mughayyir and Khirbet Abu Falah villages was blocked with earth mounds. The IDF told villagers they are also prohibited from using the eastern exit road that connects with bypass Road 458 (the “Allon” road), although this road was not blocked. The IDF say that a Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli bus on Road 458 the previous evening

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
§ Jericho remained closed during the week for Palestinians with West Bank IDs unless they held a special permit. Israelis and local residents of Jericho could move freely without a permit.

Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
§ East: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in An Nu’man, Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sur Baher, Sawahriya Ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis, and Al ‘Eizariya. Construction is almost completed from Mt. of Olives to the hill south of Al Quds University in Abu Dis. There are still gaps from Mt. of Olives to Ras Al Kubsa and a 75m gap opposite Al Quds University.
§ Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is still halted in Biddu, Bet Duqqu, Bet Ijza, and Al Qubeiba. Construction is ongoing in Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim.
§ North: The road from Qalandiya checkpoint to 150m north of Al Ram checkpoint is now only open for traffic from south to north in the eastern lane only. In the middle of the road, the work has been suspended following a court order. A roundabout has been constructed south of Qalandiya checkpoint facilitating traffic from Ar Ram to Road 45 in direction east towards Jaba’ and in direction west (where a new segment of Road 45 has been asphalted) as well as in directions towards Atarot and Road 404 and Bir Nabala checkpoint.
§ Northeast: Land levelling for the construction of the Barrier is ongoing north of Anata as well as west of Hizma.

The enclosed areas in Gaza:
§ 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, in order to bring food in. These people are permitted to exit and enter through the gate from 6.30am to 08.30am and from approximately 2pm to 4.30pm, however the opening hours remain irregular. No vehicles are permitted to enter or exit. Coordination for international organisations to enter the area has been extremely problematic. Since 3 June, As-Seafa ID holders below 30 years of age are not permitted to enter or leave. Between 26-29 August, those permitted to pass through the gate were not permitted to bring any items into As-Seafa. Since 29 August, a sniffer dog has been stationed at the gate to check baggage being brought out of As-Seafa.

§ 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 ID 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 is closed. On 25 Aug, Al Tuffah checkpoint was opened only at 1pm.

§ Kfar Darom: The Palestinian area adjacent to Kfar Darom settlement was declared a Closed Military Zone following a suicide attack on 27 February 2004. Since 20 July 2002, no vehicular movement has been allowed in 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 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. Water:
8. Labour movement to Israel

West Bank:
§ The number of workers from Tulkarm with a valid permit to Israel currently stands at 1,258 and the number of traders is 850. A total of 117 applications for trader permits are currently in the approvals process. In Jericho, no work permits for Israel or in settlements were issued. The total number for trade permits in Jericho currently stands at 300. In Hebron district, 470 workers permits were issued and 1,150 traders permits. In Bethlehem district, 611 workers received permission to cross into Israel, as well as 350 traders.

Gaza:
· A total of 5,166 permits have been issued for workers and 226 permits for traders aged 35 and older, including 2,000 permits to stay overnight. However, only a couple of hundred workers and traders were actually allowed to enter.



9. Other:

Hebron
Nablus
Ramallah /AL Bireh
END





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