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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
8 February 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 (02 - 8 February 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 incidents and significant report -- Appendix


1. Casualties
Palestinians: Deaths: 3; Injured: 5 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: ; Injured: 2 (approximate)

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank: (Information covers the period 2 - 4 February)
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 0
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

The Gaza Strip:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0
• A pregnant woman was delayed at a checkpoint for one hour five minutes. However, she arrived at a medical centre before giving birth.
• Since 14 January, no Palestinian patients have been permitted access through Erez for further treatment in Israel or the West bank. Exceptions were made elderly cancer patients. A small number of urgent medical cases were permitted to leave through Erez crossings in the last week.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH,

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
2 February: Demolition warnings were delivered to Palestinian house owners in the area of Jabal Al Diek, a neighbourhood of Beit Sahour, Bethlehem Governorate, considered by the IDF to have built homes in Oslo “area C” without a permit.

The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
• IDF continued levelling land throughout the week in the area of Khalail Al Magribi, Hebron governorate. However, land levelling has stopped in some parts as the owners have appealed in the Israeli court.
• Construction work continued throughout the week along the new bypass road, which connects Israeli settlements in the eastern south of the Governorate of Bethlehem (Tko’a, Noqedim and Ma’ale Amos) to Jerusalem. The section leading from road 398 (in the area of An Nu’man) to the foothills of Za’tara has been asphalted. All major bridges on the bypass road that crosses Palestinian internal roads are in the last stages of completion.
• Ongoing land levelling and uprooting of olive trees between Ariel settlement and Salfit preparing for the Barrier construction.
• Ongoing land levelling near the area of Deir Ballut and Al Zawiya, Salfit governorate preparing for the Barrier construction.
• Land near Kafriat checkpoint in Tulkarm Governorate continued throughout the week for the construction of a new tunnel under road 57
3 February: The Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the petition applied by Palestinians for the confiscation of land that will be used for the construction of an access road in Rachel’s Tomb area at the entrance to Bethlehem for Jewish worshippers.
6 February: Israeli settlers from Asfar accompanied by the IDF confiscated up to 1,000 Dunums of agricultural land belonging to Palestinian farmers in the eastern side of Sa’ir, Hebron Governorate.
6 February: Israeli authorities renewed the confiscation order for two Dunums of land to construct a security road running from the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba’ to a nearby Border Police camp.

The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.

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:
• Tulkarm governorate experienced easier vehicular access for Palestinian plated vehicles at the Kafriat checkpoint, which has been manned through out the week by IDF. Also, no restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Tulkarm town although yellow plated cars must be parked outside the town. In Nazlat Isa, six households (65 people) are living between the Barrier and the Green Line. During the week, only three people had their green permit renewed for two months and one female resident was rejected on security
grounds, while the rest got their permits renewed for 12 months.
• In Qalqiliya governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local populations residing and travelling on the eastern side of the Barrier. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open for Palestinians all week. No restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Qalqiliya town.
• Local populations and particularly children continue to encounter delays through the Barrier gate in Azzun Atma after the new electronic checking procedures were introduced some three weeks ago.
8 February: Flying checkpoints was erected near Azzun and An Nabi Elyas in conjunction with a security alert.
• In Salfit district, movement between the villages continues to be hampered because of the road blocks and earth mounds particularly near Kafr Dik, Qarawat Bani Hassan and Yasuf. In addition, flying checkpoints were erected near Salfit town, Bruqin and Iskaka during the week.
5 February: IDF temporarily removed the roadblocks at Bruqin and Yasuf to ease the traffic due to the bad weather conditions over the week.

___________
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:
3 and 6 February: Flying checkpoints were erected on the entrances of Tubas city.
5 February to date: IDF requested special permits for vehicles transporting vegetables and fruits through Tayasir and Hamra checkpoints in the Jordan valley (Tubas and Nablus districts).
8 February: Huwwara, Beit Iba, Beit Furik, Hamra (Nablus district) and Tayasir (Tubas district) checkpoints were closed for Palestinians from 7:30 until 13:00
8 February: Awarta checkpoint (Nablus) was closed for incoming goods until 11:00. At 13:30 the checkpoint was totally closed for the rest of the day.
• Major delays were reported at Tayasir gate throughout the week.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
4, 5, 7 February: The partial checkpoint at Atara Bridge operated throughout the morning and evening rush hours with long delays reported.
6 February: The IDF set up a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Abud searching Palestinians’ Ids and cars throughout the day. Long delays were reported.
7 February: Long delays were experienced at An Nabi Salih gate despite the bad weather conditions, where Palestinians were ordered to leave their vehicles to have their Ids checked.
• A number of flying checkpoints were set up along bypass road 465 during the week.
7 January: Between 6-10pm, the IDF set up a flying checkpoint on the road between Surda and Abu Qash. Long delays were reported.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
• During the week, IDF mobile checkpoints operated daily at the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya-Ma’ale Adumim settlement resulting in delays.
• Palestinian pedestrian movement from the Abu Dis area to Jerusalem is more difficult since Israeli Border Police have been stopping Palestinians daily at the Monastery gate. Palestinian ID holders are therefore unable to access education, health and other services in East Jerusalem, that they formally had access to.
• Border Police at Hizma checkpoint, Jerusalem governorate, continues to demand national passports/id’s in addition to UN ID cards from UN staff.

Jerusalem Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier continues along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Also, ongoing land levelling and construction of the Barrier alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages, as well as north of Neve Ya’akov and south of Pisgat Ze’ev settlements. Concrete slabs were installed along the road near Hizmah checkpoint and the road to Jaba.
East: The IDF closed the area known as the Gate near Al ‘Eizariyy - Ras Al Amoud. Instead Palestinians currently use the Monastery gate where Israeli Border Police are present to check for permits. Construction of the Barrier continues in Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis, and Al ‘Eizariyya. 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 started in the beginning of January on the eastern and southern side of the village.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is on hold due to court decision and an appeal submitted by the residents of Beit Ijzah and Biddu. IDF military requisition orders were issued on 7 February for the planned Bir Nabala enclave. No construction work has yet started.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
• The local IDF DCL confirmed that the Noqedim checkpoint on the eastern side of the Bethlehem Governorate, road 356, has been dismantled.
2 February: The IDF removed the earth mound placed on 1 February on the only access road to the village of An Nu’man, on the eastern side of Bethlehem. Israeli DCL quickly responded after coordination was made, and reopened the road.
• According to the Ministry of Tourism in Bethlehem, 15,484 visitors crossed into Bethlehem during the month of January 2005. This represents a 200% increase in the numbers of those who crossed in January 2004. This is the highest so far since the Intifada started, but represents a third of those who crossed into Bethlehem in January 2000.
2 February: The number of children escorted by the IDF and Police on their daily walk to the school in At Tuwani has increased from 5 to 15. The children are provided with an armed escort because of safety and security concerns about attacks from settlers living in the outpost of Ha’vat Ma’on. The additional schoolchildren come from the Palestinian community of Maghayir al Abeed, south of At Tuwani, in the area known as Masafer/Yatta.
The increase reflects the improvement in access created by the military escort as parents are encouraged to send their children to the closest and most appropriate educational institution: no schools exist in Masafer Yatta, an area defined as “C” under the Oslo Agreement zoning.

The enclosed areas in the Gaza Strip:
As-Seafa: Since December 2004, the IDF has allowed nine 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 at two irregular periods: approximately 6.30am to 8.30am and from approximately 3.30pm to 4.30pm. No vehicles are permitted to enter or exit. Coordination for international organisations to enter the area
has been extremely problematic.
4 February: The gate was closed all the day.
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 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.
• Since 28 Jan, Al Tuffah crossing has been open for people leaving al Mawassi only.
4 February: IDF reopened the checkpoint for all Palestinians except males aged between 16 and 35 years.
• Tel Es-Sultan checkpoint remained closed.
Al Maa’ni: 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.

Sources: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Access to schools:
West Bank:
• School children from Beit Amin and Sanniriya continue to experience delays at the Azzun Atma gate in Qalqiliya governorate. On 6 February, UNRWA reported an incident where IDF soldiers threatened the children with tear gas when they first refused to pass through the x-ray machine at the gate.

The Gaza Strip:
• During the reporting period, the 24 pupils living in As-Seafa reached their schools late because of the delay at the As Seafa gat. Upon return, the pupils were delayed for four hours and were not allowed to enter the area before 13:30.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel (monthly)
West Bank:
• In Hebron District, 2,145 workers’ permits and 495 trade permits were issued. In Bethlehem District, 397 workers' permits and 52 trade permits were issued, (As reported last previously).
• In Nablus District, 400 permits were issued for traders. In Jenin District, 388 workers’ permits were issued. In Tubas District, 146 trade permits and 79 work permits were issued.
• In Jericho, a total of 509 out of 677 permits were approved, (As reported last previously).

Gaza:
• In the Gaza Strip, 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and above were issued, (as reported previously). However, since 14 January, no Palestinians were permitted through, with the exception of 75 Palestinian factory owners entering Erez Industrial zone. (As reported last previously).

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
3 February: A 13-year old boy was injured during clashes between IDF and Palestinian stone throwers in El Far’a refugee camp.
• IDF search and arrest campaigns took place during the week in Nablus city, Balata camp Tubas, Rummana (Jenin district) and Tammun (Tubas district). Eight Palestinians were reported arrested.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
4 February: Two Palestinians were arrested with a bag containing explosives and grenades near Avnei Khefets settlement in Tulkarm governorate.
• During the week, the IDF conducted search and arrest campaigns in Seida and Illar (Tulkarm), Azzun and Qalqiliya town (Qalqiliya). Approximately eight people were reported arrested.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
7 February: At around noon, a clash erupted between the IDF and a group of Palestinian youth in Al Mughayyir while the military was patrolling the village. No injuries were reported.
• Throughout the week, IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Ramallah, Al Mughayyir, Shuqba and Silwad with four Palestinian males reported detained.

Jerusalem/Jericho
3 February: Following a suicide alert, Israeli security forces deployed several mobile checkpoints in Jerusalem governorate, and the Container checkpoint was closed for several hours. Search and arrest campaigns were also conducted and 5 Palestinians were reported detained. Curfew was also imposed in Palestinians neighbourhoods in the eastern part of the governorate.
5 February: Palestinians threw stones from Al ‘Issawiyya towards Israeli vehicles on the Jerusalem – Ma’ale Adumim road. No injuries were reported.
8 February: IDF search and arrest campaigns were conducted in Sawahriya ash Sharqiyya with two Palestinians reported detained.

Hebron/Bethlehem
• IDF search campaigns took place in Al Khadr, Bethlehem Governorate; no arrests were reported. In Hebron search campaigns took place in Idhna, Al Burj, Ad Dhahiriya and Hebron with two Palestinians reported detained.

Gaza:
2 February: In coordination with IDF, Palestinian security forces blew up a tunnel found in Block O, along the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah.
2 February: A road side bomb was activated near a tank patrolling the border fence opposite Zurub area in Rafah. No casualties were reported.
4 February: Two Palestinians were shot dead when they were spotted by the IDF approaching the border fence east Bait Hanoun.
4 February: A home made rocket was fired at the direction of Netzarim settlement. No injuries were reported.

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






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