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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
24 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
(18 - 24 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:
22 and 24 May: In two separate incidents, the IDF closed Huwwara checkpoint, Nablus. On 22 May, the checkpoint was temporarily closed after a 14-year-old boy was found carrying explosives near the checkpoint; the checkpoint was also temporarily closed on 24 May after a 15-year-old boy was found carrying explosives. In both cases, the explosives were detonated by IDF and the boy was arrested (see section 5).
22 May: The IDF demolished five tents and one semi-permanent structure for lack of building permits in three Palestinian communities in the area of Masafer Yatta, southern Hebron Governorate. Six families (30 persons) were made homeless in Am Sarara, while one family (13 persons) in Al Fakheit and another family of 11 persons in Khallet Athaba also lost their homes. (see section 2).
23 May: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for 30 minutes at Gilo checkpoint, Bethlehem, while transporting a 4-year-old boy in critical condition (see section 4).

1. Physical Protection



Selected incidents:
18 May: Palestinian militants fired homemade rockets at Neveh Dekalim settlement, the Gaza Strip. The Israel Air Force fired a missile targetting the militants. One of the militants suffered serious wounds and was taken to Nasser hospital in critical condition; he died later in the evening.
18 May: IDF soldiers in an outpost, located at the border fence near Salah Ed-Din gate, the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a Palestinian who they allege was planting a bomb near the security fence; the Palestinian was killed by an explosive device.
18 May: Palestinian militants fired three mortar shells at Neveh Dekalim settlement, the Gaza Strip. An Israeli man was wounded.
19 May: During a demonstration against the Barrier in Bil’in, Ramallah, two Palestinian males and one Israeli peace activist were injured; 26 Israelis peace activist were detained.
20 May: Two Palestinians were injured by IDF fire in Balata refugee camp, Nablus, during an IDF search-and-arrest campaign.
20 May: Palestinian militants operating from an abandoned school in Deir al Balah, the Gaza Strip, fired mortar shells and rockets toward Kfar Darom settlement and the nearby IDF camp. The IDF returned fire. One Palestinian militant was killed; one was wounded. The IDF later demolished the northern boundary wall of the school.
22 May: Two Palestinian boys, aged 11 and 12 years, were wounded by an explosion near the border fence with Egypt opposite the Zurub area. A bomb also exploded in Beit Lahia; three boys, aged between 13 and 15 years, suffered serious wounds.
23 May: Farmers from Yatta town, Hebron Governorate, were denied access to their lands by Israelis settlers just north of the Israeli settlement of Ma’on. As a result of confrontations in the area, three Palestinians were injured and one was detained.
• Throughout the week, Israeli settlers in the Old City of Hebron threw stones at and attacked Palestinian homes in the area of Tel Rumeida. One elderly woman was moderately injured in an attack.

2. Shelter and Property



Selected incidents:
18 May: The Israeli Civil administration demolished a three-storey building, consisting of four apartments, in Bir Nabala, Jerusalem, due to lack of building permits; 30 Palestinians, including 22 children, were displaced.
22 May: The IDF demolished five tents and one semi-permanent structure for lack of building permits in three Palestinian communities in the area of Masafer Yatta, southern Hebron Governorate. Six families (30 persons) were made homeless in Am Sarara, while one family (13 persons) in Al Fakheit and another family of 11 persons in Khallet Athaba also lost their homes. The ICRC distributed emergency shelter and humanitarian aid to the families affected.
24 May: The IDF demolished an uninhabited one-room house on the western outskirt of the village of Idhna, Governorate of Hebron, after issuing a demolition order last week for lack of permit.
24 May: The IDF and Israeli Border Police demolished a structure, quarters for 185 cows, on the western side of the village of Idhna, in the Governorate of Hebron; the IDF also demolished four animal pens and a one-room home on the western side of the village of Idhna, Governorate of Hebron, for lack of a building permit.

3. Natural Resources 1

Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting

Nablus/Jenin and Tubas Governorates:
• No new incidents to report

Tulkarm Governorate:
20 May: About 12,000 dunums (1,200 hectares) of agricultural land and about 5,000 olive trees were burned in the seam zone area. The land belongs to farmers from ‘Akkaba and Qaffin villages.The cause of the fire is unknown.
• Ongoing incidents:
Qalqiliya Governorate:
23 May: Israeli settlers from Kdumim settlement bulldozed 7 dunums (0.7 hectares) of agricultural land belonging to a Palestinian farmer from Kafr Qaddum village for the expansion of the settlement.
• Ongoing incidents:
Salfit Governorate:
• Ongoing incidents:
Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:
• No new incidents to report
• Ongoing incidents
Hebron Governorate:
• No new incidents to report
• Ongoing incidents:
Bethlehem Governorate:
• The IDF levelled 20 dunums (2 hectares) of land where grapes and almonds were growing near the entrance of Efrat settlement.

Jerusalem Governorate:
• No new incidents to report
• Ongoing incidents:
Jericho Governorate:
• No new incidents to report

The Gaza Strip:
• No new incidents to report

_____________


4. Restrictions on Humanitarian Assistance

West Bank:


Selected incidents:
23 May: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for 30 minutes at Gilo checkpoint, Bethlehem, while transporting a 4-year-old boy in critical condition (incident is included in the above total).

The Gaza Strip :
No incidents to report

5. Access and Movement for Civilians

b) Access to Education
The Gaza Strip:
c) Access to Employment

West Bank: Month of April (Numbers as reported by the Israeli DCL)


Gaza Strip:
• As of 24 May, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Labour, the total number of Gaza Strip workers permits was 5,788 including 1,490 with overnight stay; 818 permits were issued to Erez Industrial Zone workers.



d) Closures/Movement restrictions

Nablus Governorate:
18 May: The IDF further restricted the closure on Qaryut village by placing an earth mound at front of the southern entrance of the village.
22 May: The IDF closed Huwwara checkpoint at 7.30 pm for two hours after a 14-year-old boy was found carrying explosives near the checkpoint. The explosives were detonated by IDF and the boy was arrested.
24 May: Delays occurred at Hamra checkpoint due to the IDF intensifying the checking of Palestinians commuters.
24 May: The IDF closed Huwwara checkpoint for one hour after a 15-year-old boy was found carrying explosives near the checkpoint. The explosives were detonated by the IDF and the boy was arrested.

Jenin Governorate:
• No incidents to report

Tubas Governorate:
22 May: Delays occurred at Tayasir checkpoint after the IDF forced drivers to remove the goods from their trucks at the checkpoint in order to search the goods.

Tulkarm Governorate:
18 May: The IDF lifted the tight closure which was imposed on Tulkarm city since the Israeli Passover holiday began on 22 April.
22 May: The IDF opened “Tayba” Tulkarm checkpoint for Palestinian traders only. On 24 May workers were also allowed to pass.

Qalqiliya Governorate:
18 May: The IDF opened the northern agricultural gate in Jayyus village.
23 May: The IDF closed ‘Azzun ‘Atma gate at 11am for two hours.

Salfit Governorate:
18 May to date: Throughout the week, the opening of Yasuf gate was delayed in the morning.
18 May to date: The IDF continued increasing vehicular searches at Deir Ballut checkpoint delaying vehicular movement.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:
• There has been an increase in the numbers of IDF patrols in Ramallah and Al Bireh cities.

Hebron Governorate:
24 May: The IDF removed earth mounds blocking the entrance to Hebron from the south at the crossing with Yatta and replaced them with a closed gate.
24 May: The IDF has blocked the alternative passage for vehicles next to the road blocks placed on Road 354, south of the Beit Awwa checkpoint.

Bethlehem Governorate:
• No incidents to report

Jerusalem Governorate:
• No incidents to report

Jericho Governorate:
• Palestinian West Bank non-Jericho Governorate residents are denied access at Yitav checkpoint on Road 90.

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.
• During the week, two to three persons each day were prevented from entering the area despite having proper documentation. A person with heart problems was denied exit for five days, despite a referral letter from an UNRWA doctor, to go to the hospital in order to receive treatment.
18 and 19 May: The gate was closed from Wednesday morning until Thursday afternoon.
• For approximately 25 days now neither empty nor full cooking gas bottles have been allowed out of or been allowed into the area.
• Other goods (including fuel) are now only allowed to be taken in 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.
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.
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

Searches/Arrests/Detentions










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