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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
28 December 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 (22 - 28 December 2004)

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 -- Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: Deaths: 14; Injured: 35 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 1; Injured: 1

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams1

West Bank:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (30 minutes): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

Gaza:
Denial of access: 2
Delay (30 minutes): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 3

22 December: Parts of the boundary wall of Mubarak hospital in Khan Younis was torn down by the IDF.
22 December: IDF gunfire in the area of Mubarak hospital in Khan Younis damaged six incubators, medical machines, a power generator and the hospital’s front windows.
22 December: An IAF helicopter fired one missile toward a yard in front of Naser hospital in Khan Younis; as a result hospital work was disturbed.
22 and 23 December: In two separate incidences, two MoH ambulances came under IDF gunfire. Both were attempting to evacuate wounded people. Damages were reported to both ambulances.
23 December: A MoH ambulance transporting persons to fix a damaged power generator was denied access to the generator area in Mubarak hospital in Khan Younis.
25 December: A MoH ambulance travelling on Beach Road was denied access, warning shots were fired toward it.
28 December: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for three hours at At Tuffah checkpoint in Khan Younis while transporting a pregnant woman who later gave birth in the ambulance.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH
____________
1 Please see PRCS website for additional updates http://www.palestinercs.org/

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
25 December: The IDF demolished a four-storey building, shelter for 20 persons, in Jenin City.
26 December: One house was damaged in An Nabi Salih by an Israeli bulldozer.
27 December: Around midnight, the IDF fired at a house in Beit Liqya, suspecting a wanted person was hiding inside. The windows of the house were damaged.



Gaza:
23 December: Ten houses were demolished and another house was partially destroyed in Khan Younis, leaving 50 people homeless.



5. Land levelling/Requisitions2
West Bank:
21 December (not reported last week): Israeli bulldozers completed the uprooting of olive trees located behind the Barrier near the village of Jayyous in Qalqiliya Governorate. An estimated 300 to 350 olive trees in total have been uprooted, according to activist groups present on the ground.
22 December: Barrier construction and land levelling resumed in Bet Liqya, Ramallah District.
27 December: Land levelling started in Bet Anan, northwest Jerusalem, in preparation for construction of the Barrier.
22 to 28 December: Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballout and Az Zawiya, Salfit Governorate, has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation for construction of the Barrier.
22 to 28 December: Levelling of land belonging to Faroun village in Tulkarm Governorate has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation for construction of a bypass road.

___________
2 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare


Gaza:
23 December: Six dunums (.6 hectares) of land planted with olive trees were levelled, and a water well was destroyed in the area east of Zaitoun quarter in Gaza City.
23 December: Five dunums (.5 hectares) of land planted with olive and citrus trees were levelled in the Al Attatra area northwest Rafah.
24 December: Ten dunums (1 hectare) of land planted with olive trees were levelled in the area of Abu El Ajeen southeast Dair Al Balah.
25 December: Three dunums (.3 hectares) of land planted with strawberries were levelled in Beit Lahia.

Sources: OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL, Village Council

6. Closure3/Restrictions on movement
Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
• In Tulkarm Governorate, the IDF maintained the eased movement restrictions. All parts of Kafriat checkpoint remained manned during the week, but no restrictions were imposed on Palestinian-plated vehicles, which in general could freely cross the checkpoint. No extraordinary restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Tulkarm town. No movement constraints were reported in conjunction with the municipal elections 23 and 24 December.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local population. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open during the week. No extraordinary restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Qalqiliya town. The Palestinian DCL reported that movement in conjunction with the municipal elections on 23 and 24 December went smoothly.
• 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. The IDF temporarily removed the road block near Qarawat Bani Hassan on 23 and 24 December to facilitate movement in conjunction with the municipal elections. The road block is now back in place.

_____________
3 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:
25 to 28 December: A flying checkpoint was erected on Burin junction Road 57, Nablus.
28 December: A flying checkpoint was erected on Yits’har junction Road 60, Nablus.
28 December: The IDF occupied three houses in Nablus City and used them as observation points for approximately 12 hours. The residents of each house were forced to gather in one room.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
23 December: The checkpoint at Atara bridge operated throughout the day, long delays were reported.
25 December: The IDF closed An Nabi Salih gate from 7am to 1pm prohibiting both vehicular and pedestrian access to the Bani Zeid villages.
26 December: Two flying checkpoints were present along Road 465, IDF soldiers searched Palestinian cars and checked IDs. A flying checkpoint was also operating at the entrance of ‘Abud during the morning and evening 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 long lines of cars waiting to pass.
• 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.
25 December: At midnight, Ar Ram checkpoint, north Jerusalem, was closed for vehicular traffic heading toward Jerusalem.
26 December: Passage through Container checkpoint, east of Jerusalem, was reported to be slow especially in the morning hours.
27 December: A candidate for the Palestinian presidential elections was detained by Israeli security forces in the Old City, Jerusalem. The candidate was detained for three hours for lack of permit to stay overnight in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling for the Barrier is also taking place alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages.
East: Construction of the Barrier is continuing in Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis, and Al ‘Eizariya. Construction is nearly completed from the Mount of Olives to the hill just south of Al Quds University in Abu Dis.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in Bet Duqqu, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim. On 27 December, land levelling for the construction of the Barrier started in Bet Anan. In Biddu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik, construction is halted.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
22 and 23 December: The IDF closed the gate of the main entrance into Idhna village, Hebron District, at the junction of bypass Road 35, after an Israeli security guard was killed near the Barrier. The gate was opened on 24 December.
22 December: The IDF opened the main entrance of Al 'Arrub camp, Hebron District.
23 December to date: Two-thousands-eight-hundred-thirty Jerusalem permits were issued for the Christmas holidays for Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem District. The permits are valid for one week starting from the date of issue.
24 December to date: The IDF opened the northern main entrance of Bethlehem City near Rachel’s Tomb by removing the concrete blocks to facilitate passage for some, including tourists. However, barbed wire was used to prevent Palestinian vehicles from using the same passage.

The enclosed areas in the Gaza strip:
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, 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 2pm to 4.30pm. No vehicles are permitted to enter or exit. Coordination for international organisations to enter the area has been extremely problematic.
• The gate was mostly open throughout the week twice a day except for the following. 25 December: The gate was closed. The IDF erected an earth mound that blocked the road leading to the gate. 27 December: The gate was open one time only.
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 IDs 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 remained closed during the week.
22, 23 and 25 December: Al Tuffah checkpoint was completely closed.
24 December: Al Tuffah checkpoint was open only for persons leaving Al Mawassi.
26 December to date: Women (no age restrictions) are allowed in and out, but only men aged 50 years and older are permitted to cross back into Al Mawassi.
Kfar Darom: 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.

Source: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Access to schools:
West Bank:
22 December: Students of ’Asira ash Shamaliya village, Nablus, were unable to reach their schools because of a curfew imposed on the village.
• The IDF is continuously surrounding the boys’ secondary school in Beituniya, Ramallah District, when classes finishes. Daily confrontations between the pupils and the IDF have been reported. Similar actions were reported in in Kharbatha al Misbah, Saffa and Budrus.

Gaza:
• 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.
22 December: An 11-year-old UNRWA pupil was shot and wounded in his right hand while in the yard of UNRWA Rafah Elementary School.
22 December: The boundary wall of a PA school was demolished during an IDF military operation in Khan Younis.
27 December: Five windows of the Rafah Preparatory Girls School were broken as a result of IDF shooting in the area.
27 December: Five windows at Tel Es-Sultan UNRWA Preparatory School were destroyed as a result of IDF shooting at Tel Es-Sultan quarter in Rafah camp.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel
West Bank:
• According to the Nablus Chamber of Commerce, the monthly number in Nablus Governorate of merchant's permits to Israel was 200. The chamber was also informed that the Israeli DCL office will not receive any permit application directly from the population in the next three months. Permit applications for merchants will be processed via the chamber of commerce, and permits for moving within the West Bank will be processed via the Palestinian DCL.

Gaza:
• Israeli authorities issued 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and older.



9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
25 December: The IDF entered Jenin City in the early morning hours announcing curfew on parts of the city and surrounding a four-storey building in Al Mrah neighbourhood. The residents of the building were forced to leave. The IDF requested that one wanted Palestinian leave the building, he refused and exchange of fire took place after which the IDF demolished the building. The wanted Palestinian was found dead by Palestinian rescue teams in the rubble after the IDF left the site.
27 December: An IDF unit killed one Palestinian man near Balata refugee camp, Nablus. The Palestinian was killed while he was inside his vehicle. Another Palestinian man was arrested from the same vehicle.
28 December: Several IDF vehicles entered the main square in Nablus City. Fighting broke out between the IDF and Palestinian stone throwers. Five Palestinians were reported injured.
22 to 28 December: IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus City, Askar refugee camp, Beit Dajan village (Nablus) and Jenin City. Fifteen Palestinians were reported arrested in these campaigns.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
24 December: The IDF entered Tulkarm refugee camp late at night and conducted an operation, which resulted in an exchange of fire and the deaths of three Palestinians and the arrest of one other.
• Throughout the week, other military campaigns have been reported conducted in Qalqiliya town, Tulkarm (two persons injured), Zeita, Baqa Ash Sharqiya, Illar, Faroun and Attil. More than 15 people were reported arrested during these campaigns.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
23 December: At around midday, Beit Liqya residents demonstrated against Barrier construction, which resumed on 22 December. The IDF later closed the village.
27 December: At around 1pm, at least 20 IDF vehicles entered Qarawat Bani Zeid and conducted a search campaign in which two Palestinians were arrested. Heavy shooting and damage to Palestinian property during the search were reported by the residents.
27 December: At around midnight, the IDF fired at a house in Beit Liqya, suspecting a wanted person was hiding inside. The IDF later entered the house and found it empty.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Qarawat Bani Zeid, Ramallah and Al Bireh. Seven Palestinian males were reported arrested.

Jerusalem/Jericho
22 December: A search-and-arrest campaign took place in East Jerusalem, two Palestinians were detained.

Hebron/Bethlehem
22 December: An Israeli security guard guarding parked bulldozers near the Barrier in Idhna, Hebron District, was shot dead by Palestinian militants.
22 December: The house that was occupied in Yatta City, Hebron District, on 18 December was evacuated by the IDF. The ICRC distributed food parcels to the family.
23 December: Five Palestinians were injured by rubber coated metal bullets in Idhna, Hebron District, during confrontations between Palestinians and the IDF.
25 December: The IDF entered the offices of the French cultural institution in Hebron Old City. Ten children and their teacher were held in one room. Some damage to the furniture was caused during the search operation.
27 December: Settlers from Mizad B settlement planted trees on land belonging to Palestinians from Sa'ir, Hebron District.
27 December: One Palestinian was seriously injured, he was shot by the IDF in Khirbet Shuweika, south of Hebron District.
• Search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem City and Al 'Ubeidiya with a total of two Palestinians arrested. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in the city of Hebron, Yatta, Idhna, Dura, Deit Ummar, Beit Ula and Al Burj. A total of 16 Palestinians were arrested.

Gaza:
22 December: During the IDF military operation in Khan Younis, many Palestinian families residing in and around the Austrian housing project fled their homes. UNRWA accommodated around 90 families at schools and provided each family with emergency assistance including blankets, mattresses, food, water and sanitary installations.
25 December: The IDF closed Beach Road for at least five hours dividing the Gaza Strip.
28 December: An IAF helicopter fired a rocket toward a car in Khan Younis, as a result some by passers were slightly wounded.
28 December: Twelve people were injured in Khan Younis by tank shells

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




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