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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
1 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 (26 January - 1 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: 8; Injured: 13 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 0; Injured: 3 (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): 2
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 1

26 January: A PRCS ambulance was subjected to Israeli Army gunfire while en route to evacuate an injured person in Kufr Saba, Qalqilya. The crew had to return. No injuries or damage to the ambulance was reported.


The Gaza Strip:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 3
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0
1 February: Three MoH ambulances were delayed from 8am until 2.30pm at the Rafah Terminal. The three ambulances were transporting Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip to Egypt.
14 January ongoing: No Palestinian patients, with few excepts, have been permitted through Erez for further treatment in Israel or the West Bank.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH,

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
26 January: Three house eviction orders were delivered to three households in Seida. The orders have not yet been put into effect.
26 January: Six Palestinian houses from Wadi Ar Rasha in Qalqiliya Governorate received demolition orders from the IDF.
27 January: The Israeli High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the IDF from demolishing any houses in Wadi Ar Rasha.

The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
29 January: The IDF delivered a copy of land requisition orders, through the Palestinian DCL, for Barrier Construction for the Bir Nabala planned enclave. 1,466.1 dunums (146.6 hectares ) of land will be affected by Barrier construction. Land in the affected area belongs to Palestinians from five villages: Bir Nabala, Al Jeeb, Beit Hanina, Rafat and Qalandia. More than 3,000 dunums (300 hectares) of Al Jeeb agricultural land will be west of the Barrier.
30 January: The IDF continued levelling a stretch of agricultural land in Khallat Al Furn and Sha’ab Humar near Khalail Al Magribi (south of Hebron city). Work started on 25 January and an additional 40 dunums (4 hectares) were added to the 140 dunums (14 hectares) already taken.
1 February: The IDF issued new requisition orders for the Barrier north of Ariel settlement in Salfit District covering some 150 dunums (15 hectares). The land belongs to villagers mainly from Deir Istiya and Immatin.
• Land levelling and uprooting of olive trees between the Israeli Ariel settlement and Salfit town have been ongoing
throughout the week in preparation for construction of the Barrier.
• Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballout and Al Zawiya has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation
for construction of the Barrier.
• Levelling of land near Kafriat checkpoint in Tulkarm Governorate continued throughout the week in preparation a
new tunnel under Road 57.

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:
• In Tulkarm Governorate, the IDF maintained 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 Palestinians with Israeli IDs travelling to Tulkarm town. Israeli yellow-plated cars had to be parked outside the town. Since the curfew was lifted in Seida on 28 January, the IDF has kept the village under closure restricting movement in and out of the village. Earth mounds have been built in front of the entrances. A number of houses that were occupied by the IDF during the curfew remain occupied.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local populations residing in and travelling on the eastern side of the Barrier. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open for Palestinians the entire week. No restrictions were imposed on Palestinians with Israeli IDs travelling to Qalqiliya town.
18 January: The IDF introduced new electronic checking procedures at the Barrier gate into Azzun Atma in Qalqiliya Governorate. These procedures have caused delays for residents, teachers and school children in particular.
• In Salfit District, 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:
26 January: The IDF removed earth mounds at the main entrance of Beita village, Nablus District.
26 January to date: Long delays were experienced at Tayasir gate, Tubas District.
26 January to date: The IDF set up flying checkpoints on Road 60 near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village, Nablus District.
29 January: The IDF closed Beit Iba checkpoint, Nablus city, for more than three hours preventing Palestinians movement in and out of the city. The closure was due to a suspicious vehicle parked in the area.
31 January: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint at the main entrance of Burin village, Nablus District, impeding the movement of residents travelling in and out of the village.
31 January: A four member group from the World Council of Churches was denied access to Nablus at Huwwara checkpoint.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
• The partial checkpoint at Atara Bridge operated on a daily basis throughout the week during the morning and late afternoon rush hours. According to the Palestinian DCL, long delays were reported.
• Long delays were reported at An Nabi Salih gate throughout the week. On 30 January, the IDF stopped all cars going through the gate.
• The IDF set up a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Abud on almost a daily basis during the morning and late afternoon rush hours.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:
• IDF mobile checkpoints function on a daily basis at the entrance to Al ‘Eizariya-Ma’ale Adumim settlement resulting in delays.
• 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. Access to education, health and other services in East Jerusalem to Palestinians holding West Bank ID cards is denied by the Israeli Border Police.
• 23 January: Starting on this date, the Jericho DCO checkpoint will be open until 12am for Jericho residents and Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs. Palestinians from West Bank are still not allowed to enter Jericho unless they are travelling to Jordan and can provide the necessary documents.

Jerusalem Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling and construction of the Barrier are also taking place 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 constructed along the road near Hizmah checkpoint and the road to Jaba .
East: The IDF has closed the area known as the Gate near Al ‘Eizariyy - Ras Al Amoud. Palestinians currently use the Monastery gate where Israeli Border Police are present to check for permits. Construction of the Barrier is continuing 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 by the residents of Beit Ijzah and Bidu except in .in Al-Tira, where construction continued. Israeli Border Police closed the main entrance Nabi Sammuell area and people were instructed not to use the area to travel to Bir Nabalah . Instead people used the northern entrance near Beit Ijzah and the Givaat Hadasha settlement.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
26 January: The second bus seized by the Israeli Border Police in the village of Al Walaja (Bethlehem Governorate), has been released (The first bus was already released). The bus is currently back transporting local residents isolated by the closures imposed on the village.
27 January: The IDF closed the gate at the entrance of Beit Ummar village north of Hebron city for one day due to a security concern in the area.
1 February: The IDF closed the only access road to the village of An Nu’man; the residents had no vehicular access to the West Bank.
• During January, 2,234 permits were issued for Christians from Bethlehem to reach Jerusalem, while another 200 permits were issued for Muslims from Bethlehem to visit holy places in Jerusalem during the Eid Al-Adha feast (20 to 23 of January).

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.
• According to an IDF order, 41 Palestinians, As-Seafa residents, were requested to submit coordination requests at least two days in advance.
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.
26 to 27 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was closed. No entry or exit was permitted.
28, 29 and 30 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was reopened for people leaving al Mawassi only, and food and other goods were allowed in.
On 31 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was open both directions.
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:
29 January: School children started a new semester. In Azzun Atma in Qalqiliya governorate, teachers and school children were delayed for approximately an hour and 30 minutes in the morning due to the new electronic checking procedures at the Barrier gate.
30 January: Four school children were lightly wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets near their school in Burqa village, Nablus District, due to clashes with the IDF.
30 January: Around noon, an IDF patrol fired three shock grenades into the playground of An Nabi Salih primary school. No injuries were reported.
• In Seida in Tulkarm Governorate, access to the schools has been problematic for both teachers and pupils because of ongoing IDF presence in the village. (Curfew in the area was lifted on 28 January.)
• Students from Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya, East Jerusalem, are experiencing difficulties reaching schools in Jerusalem Governorate.

The Gaza Strip:
31 January: Palestinian officials say a 10-year-old UNRWA girl pupil died due to IDF gunfire and another girl was injured. Both girls were inside an UNRWA school in Rafah at the time of the incident. The IDF is investigating the incident.
• 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 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

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel (monthly)
West Bank:
• In Hebron District, 2,145 workers’ permits were issued and 495 permits were issued for traders. In Bethlehem District, 397 workers' permits were issued and 52 permits were issued for traders.
• In Nablus District, 1,011 workers’ permits were issued and 299 permits were issued for traders. In Jenin District, 299 workers’ permits and 285 permits for traders were issued. In Tubas District, 116 trade permits were issued.
• In Jericho, a total of 509 permits, of 677 submitted were approved.

Gaza:
• In 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.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
26 January: The head of the village council of 'Atouf village, Tubas District, was killed by an unexploed ordance while he was working on his land.
26 January: The IDF exchanged fire with Palestinian militants in Balata camp, Nablus District. One resident in the camp was injured.
31 January: Palestinian militants fired at an Israeli patrol in Jenin city. No injures were reported.
31 January: Palestinian militants fired at an Israeli base near Qaddim, Jenin District. No injures were reported.
24 January: An exchange of fire took place between IDF soldiers and Palestinian militants in Nablus city. No injures were reported.
1 February: One Israeli settler was injured near Migdalim settlement (Majdal Bani Fadel), bypass Road 505, when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at his car.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus city, Camp No 1, Balata camp, Tubas, Jenin city, Silat adh Dhahr, Silat al Harithiya, Jaba' (Jenin District). Seven Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
26 January: In Qalqiliya, one Palestinian was killed in his vehicle and three others were injured when the IDF opened fire at the vehicle. Two of the wounded were detained.
28 January: The IDF closed the area around Iskaka village in Salfit District after confrontations occurred between
Palestinians and the IDF.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in Seida (Tulkarm) and Azzun (Qalqiliya). More than 35 persons have been reported arrested, the majority in Seida.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
• IDF patrols carried out house searches on a regular basis in the Bani Zeid cluster. One Palestinian male from Beit Rima was arrested.
• 26 January: A 26-year-old Palestinian male prisoner from Kafr Malik died in a fire in a tent in Megiddo prison. The fire was reportedly an electrical one.
• 28 January: An 11-year-old boy from Deir Jarir died of severe injuries he received two days earlier when an IDF ordnance exploded in the village. The child had both hands amputated. A second child who was injured was released from hospital.
• 31 January: An IDF patrol detained two 10-year-old boys inside a military vehicle in ‘Abud for about 30 minutes. The children were suspected of throwing stones at settlers.

Hebron/Bethlehem
26 January: The IDF occupied a two-storey building in Adh Dhahiriya town south west of Hebron. The house was used as observation post. The residents (four families) of the house were held in one room for eight hours.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem, one arrest was reported. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Ah Dahiriya, Tarqumiya, Al Burj, Yatta and Hebron city. A total of 13 Palestinians were detained.

Gaza:
26 January: Two homemade rockets were fired from south of Beit Hanoun in the direction of the western Negev in Israel.
26 January: The IDF installed a concrete wall east of Beach Road.
26 January: A three-year-old girl was shot dead by IDF gunfire in Dair Al Balah.
28 January: Palestinian security forces began deploying in the middle and southern areas of the Gaza Strip.
1 February: Two Israeli settlers were injured in a mortar attack on Gush Qatief settlements’ block.

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

END






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