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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
22 March 2005


P.O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem
Phone: (972) 2 – 5829962 / 5825853, Fax: (972) 2 – 5825841,

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (16 - 22 March 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

1. Physical Protection

Deaths and Injuries-

Palestinians: Deaths: 0; Injured: 24 (including four minors)
Israelis: Deaths: 0; Injured: 8 (approximate)
Internationals: Deaths: 0; Injured: 0

Selected incidents:
16, 17, 18 and 20 March: Palestinian and Israeli peace activists held demonstrations in Bil’in and Saffa villages (west Ramallah district) against the construction of the Barrier on 16 March. The IDF used tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets to disperse the protesters. Four Palestinians and one Israeli peace activist were injured. More demonstrations were organised in Bil’in on the following two days and two Palestinians were injured on 18 March. Palestinian schoolchildren (girls and boys) from both villages held an anti-Barrier demonstration on 20 March. The schoolchildren stoned the IDF and the IDF fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets. Three schoolchildren were injured, two seriously. Two Border Police were lightly injured.
16 March: One Palestinian from Qalqiliya was injured after IDF fired at him near the Zfim agricultural gate.
16 March: A Palestinian from ‘Anabta (Tulkarm) was injured during clashes between the IDF and Palestinian stone throwers.
17 March: Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli car passing through Huwwara village. One Israeli was injured.
17 March: Young Israeli settlers from Nakhli’el settlement near Beitillu village, central Ramallah district, attacked eight Palestinian workers inside the settlement with stones and clubs. The workers, who are from the Bethlehem area, all have permits to work inside the settlement. Five workers were injured, one seriously.
17 March: Palestinians stoned an IDF patrol in Beit ‘Ur at Tahta, south-west Ramallah district. The IDF responded with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. One Palestinian was injured.
17 March: A 19 year old Palestinian was injured by gunfire from the IDF outpost near Rafiah Yam settlement in Rafah.
18 March: Settlers from Berakhya beat a Samaritan Palestinian near the Samaritan village of mount Jarzeem, near Nablus city. The Palestinian was injured and evacuated to a hospital in Nablus.
20 March: Palestinians opened fire on the IDF and Israeli Police in the Al Am’ari refugee camp on the outskirts of Ramallah city during a search campaign for stolen vehicles. Three IDF soldiers and an Israeli police officer were injured; one of the soldiers remains in a serious condition.
20 March: A 12 year old boy was beaten by IDF in ‘Illar (Tulkarm). The boy was injured and evacuated to a hospital in Tulkarm.
20 March: A Palestinian worker sustained serious injuries from shots fired by a Border Police soldier near Gilo checkpoint in Bethlehem as he was attempting to cross into Jerusalem. The IDF alleged that the man had tried to reach for the soldier’s gun.
21-22 March: Demonstrations against the Barrier construction continued in Bil'in village. Two Palestinians were injured on 21 March.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, UNRWA, WHO, IDF website, Israeli MoFA, offices of governors.

2. Shelter and Property

People displaced/House demolitions/Demolition orders

Total houses demolished: 3

West Bank:
19 to 22 March: The IDF occupied seven them as observation points during a search were kept inside the homes.
21 March: The Israeli authorities demolished building license.
22 March: The Israeli authorities demolished house was inhabited by 8 persons.

The Gaza Strip:
• No incidents reported.


3. Natural Resources

Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting1

Jenin Governorate:
• 16 March: Two confiscation orders were sent by mail to landowners for 170 dunums located in Tura al Gharbiya village, on the west side of the Barrier. The confiscation orders were issued by the Authority responsible for absentee property and state land.

Qalqiliya Governorate:
• 16 March: Settlers from Kdumim burnt and uprooted 45 olive trees belonging to Palestinians from the village of Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya).

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate
• 18 March: Tens of settlers from Khalamish settlement (central Ramallah district) occupied land in An Nabi Salih near road 465 which contained water valves controlling the supply of water to the settlement and neighbouring Palestinian villages. The settlers clamed ownership of the land. The IDF arrested four Palestinians after clashes erupted between settlers and Palestinian villagers.
• 21 March: The IDF uprooted 16 olive trees during construction of the Barrier between Bil'in and Saffa villages, western Ramallah district. The trees were handed over to villagers who replanted them.

Salfit Governorate
• 16 - 22 March: Around 1 km of land has now been levelled for the construction of the Barrier in Mas-ha and Az Zawiya.
• 16 - 22 March: The IDF continued to level land near of Deir Ballut and Az Zawiya in order to clear the land for an IDF special security area.

Tulkarm Governorate
• 16 - 22 March: IDF continued to level land near the Kafriat checkpoint (Tulkarm) in preparation for a new tunnel under road 57.

Hebron Governorate
• 17 Mar: The Israeli civil administration rejected the appeal submitted by the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee against the land confiscation for a new security road linking the settlement of Tel Rumeida to Shohada street. The road is expected to pass through a Muslim cemetery and lead to the destruction of some grave sites and nearby houses.
• 22 March: The IDF have started clearing an area of 4 dunum in the area of Jabal Johar, close to the three schools of Al Ma’arif, Tariq and Osama Ibn Al Munqith. The schools have been used as a military base since the beginning of the intifada. According to the Palestinian DCL, the area cleared will be used to build a new military observation post overlooking the old city of Hebron and will be followed by the evacuation of the nearby educational facilities by the Israeli Army.

Bethlehem Governorate
• 21 March: The IDF bulldozed two dunums belonging to the Islamic Waqf department near Rachel’s Tomb at the northern entrance to Bethlehem to build a parking lot for the buses transporting Jewish worshippers to the tomb, according to the Palestinian DCL in Bethlehem.
• 22 March: The IDF uprooted at least 300 olive trees in the western side of Surif (Hebron Governorate) along the Green Line, for the construction of the barrier.
• 22 March: Residents of Nahhalin (west Bethlehem Governorate) received evacuation orders for agricultural land they own next to the village. The orders, left on the ground by the IDF, under the Absentee Property Law give 45 days to the Palestinians to withdraw from the land and return it to its original status. The orders provide coordinates but no area measurement, leaving unclear the exact area affected.

Jerusalem Barrier
North West Jerusalem villages:
- The IDF continued to level land for Barrier construction between Har Adar settlement (near Beit Surik) and Beit Liqya and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim in the west following the lifting of an injunction by the Israeli Supreme Court against construction work in the area.
North Jerusalem
- Construction of the Barrier is continuing along road 60, between Qalandiya and Ar - Ram checkpoints, and near the Ar Ram/Bir Nabalah junction. The main entrance to Ar Ram is now closed. Land levelling is ongoing for a new checkpoint, to be located south of the existing one and west of the Barrier.
- Construction and levelling is also taking place east of the Qalandiya checkpoint where the IDF intends to construct new offices for the DCL, a parking lot and a road connecting to road 60 in the Ar Ram area.
- Barrier construction is ongoing alongside the road between Jaba, Hizma and Anata.
East Jerusalem
- Land levelling is ongoing east of Ar Ram (near the Coptic housing project), at Wadi Ayyad (near Neve Yaakov settlement), and on the northern side of Anata and Shufat refugee camps.
South Jerusalem Sur Bahir
- Barrier construction is ongoing on both the eastern and southern side of the village.
Requisition orders
• An amendment to military order T/87/04 was handed to the Palestinian DCL for the Kharayib Umm Al Lahim area, west of Qatanna. According to the order, 349.3 dunum will be requisitioned for the construction of the Barrier.

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

4. Facilitation of Humanitarian Assistance

Incidents involving safety and movement of ambulances and medical teams

West Bank:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (more than 30 minutes): 3
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

22 March: A Palestinian ambulance was delayed for one hour and half at Kdumim gate (Qalqiliya). The Palestinian DCL stated that the driver of the ambulance was threatened by the Israeli security guard from the Kdumim settlement with a knife. The ambulance was allowed to pass only after one and a half hours following the intervention of the Palestinian DCL.

The Gaza Strip:
Denial of access: 0
Delay (more 30 minutes): 1
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

21 March: A PRCS ambulance was delayed for 55 minutes on Al Tuffah checkpoint in Khan Younis while it was transporting a boy with broken arm from Al Mawassi to Naser hospital.

Sources: OCHA FCU, WHO, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

5. Access and Movement for Civilians
A. Curfews
18 March: A 12 hour curfew was imposed on Bardala village (Tubas).
19 and 20 March: The IDF imposed curfew on the village of ‘Illar (Tulkarm) for two days.

Sources: OCHA FCU, Village Councils, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL

B. Access to Education

West Bank:

18 March: The elementary school in Bardala (Tubas) was closed due to the imposition of curfew. The IDF used the school premises to gather and interrogate all the males from the village aged between 15 and 60.
19 - 20 March: Two school days were lost in ‘Illar (Tulkarm) as a result of the imposed curfew.
19 and 21 March: The IDF escort for the Palestinian children attending school in At Tuwani, in the south of Hebron Governorate, was provided with great delay (one and half hours) for the return walk of the children to their village of Tuba. The IDF is providing protection against attacks from nearby settlers.

The Gaza Strip:

• During the reporting period, the 24 pupils living in As-Seafa were not able to reach their schools on time. They were delayed leaving 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

C. Access to Employment

West Bank:
• No new information.

The Gaza Strip:
On 19 March, the total number of permits issued to Palestinian workers was 2,488 for labourers, and 423 permits for merchants. The requirements were 35 + and married with children. (Source PMG). Additionally, a total of 775 work permits for workers were issued to enter Erez Industrial Zones.

D. Closure/Movement Restrictions

Tulkarm Governorate:
Frequent flying checkpoints hampered the movement for Palestinians inside the governorate throughout the week.
22 March: The IDF handed over Tulkarm city, refugee camps and villages to the Palestinian Authority except for Ramin, ‘Illar and Seida villages which remain under joint Israeli-Palestinian security responsibility. The Enav road gate was also opened near the village of Anabta and then removed in the afternoon completely, enabling Palestinians to move from Tulkarm towards the villages in the east.

Qalqiliya Governorate:
• 17 - 20 March: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint at the main road between ‘Azzun and Kafr Thulth.
• 17 March: The IDF prevented farmers from going through the Zifm agricultural gate to reach their land west of the Barrier.

Nablus Governorate:
21 March: The IDF reinforced the closure on Bizzariya village by enlarging the earth mound at its entrance.

Tubas Governorate:
18 March: A flying checkpoint was erected at the entrance of Bardal and Kardal village throughout the day as the IDF conducted an operation in Bardala village.
19 March: A flying checkpoint was erected at the northern entrance of Tubas city.
19 March: A flying checkpoint was erected at the entrance of Tammun village.
19 March: The IDF closed the Tayasir checkpoint for several hours and denied access to farmers trying to reach their lands in the Al Malih area.
20 March: A flying checkpoint was erected on the northern entrance of Tubas city.

Jenin Governorate:
19 and 20 March: Flying checkpoints were erected near Jaba’ village on road 60.

Ramallah/Al Bireh Governorate:
16 March: The IDF closed the two entrances of Al Mughayyir village (north-east Ramallah district) with earth mounds after Israeli vehicles were reportedly stoned on Road 457. The two roads were re-opened on 18 March.
17 March: The partial checkpoint at An Nabi Salih gate was in operation during the morning rush hours causing delays of up to two hours.
21 March: The partial checkpoint at Atara Bridge was in operation and Palestinians faced delays due to IDF checking of IDs and car searches.
21 March: The IDF delayed Palestinian pedestrians and vehicles at Qalandiya checkpoint for more than two hours due to a high security alert around Jerusalem. At around mid-day, an IDF patrol set up a flying checkpoint at Surda on the main road between Ramallah and Bir Zeit. Hundreds of Palestinians and vehicles waited at least two hours before the patrol allowed traffic to move again. After removing the first flying checkpoint, the IDF set up a second checkpoint less than a kilometre away on the same road causing additional traffic congestion. A flying checkpoint was also set up on road 60 near Turmus’ayya village, north-east Ramallah district.

Jerusalem and Jericho Governorates:
Hebron Governorate:
• 17 March: The IDF moved Palestinian shepherds away from a hillside east of At Tuwani village, where they were grazing their animals and informed them that this is a military closed area.
• 18 March: Following an attack by an Israeli settler, the IDF informed shepherds from the village in Qawawis, south Hebron, that they should not graze their animals on the areas south of their village. The Palestinians from this village were recently allowed to return to their caves by the Israeli High Court of Justice. It is not clear to the local Palestinians whether this land is to be considered a military closed area as Israeli settlers from nearby outposts regularly access it to farm the land.
• 20 March: The IDF installed a turnstile gate at the exit from the casbah of the old city in Hebron leading to the Tomb of the Patriarchs square. Palestinians have to pass through and present ID’s to the IDF on the way to the mosque. The Islamic Waqf has already expressed its concern at the measure as it will create a barrier for hundreds of Muslim worshippers who use this way to reach the mosque for Friday prayers. The measure was apparently introduced in response to the recent shooting of Border Police soldiers in the area.
• 22 March: Shepherds from At Tuwani found the land between their village and the forest next to the Israeli settlement of Ma’on covered with small green pellets. The substance is believed by the local community to be poisonous. The Palestinian Department of Environment has advised the Palestinian shepherds to stay away from this area, which, according to local residents amounts to over 20 dunum of land. This is an area which Palestinian shepherds have been unable to access regularly as it has been declared several times by the IDF as a military closed area.

Bethlehem Governorate
• 20 March: According to the Palestinian DCL, 300 permits out of at nearly 3,000 applications were issued for Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem to cross into Jerusalem for Palm Sunday.
• 22 March: The IDF removed the earth mound blocking the eastern entrance to Husan from road 375. Palestinian vehicles are now able to enter the Husan-Battir area directly from road 60.

The Gaza Strip
• In the last week, IDF started to erect a metal fence on the road connecting Kisufim intersection with Kfar Dorom settlementsouth of Dair Al Balah.

The Enclosed Areas in the Gaza Strip:

6. Additional Protection Issues

Searches and Arrests

16 to 22 March: An IDF search and arrest campaign took place in Tayasir village (Tubas) resulting in two arrests. In Nablus, search and arrest campaigns took place throughout the week with a total of 14 Palestinians arrested.

16 to 22 March: The IDF conducted search and arrest campaigns in Nur Shams refugee camp, Bardala, Kardala, Ilar, Azzun, Deir Al Ghusun, Seida, Beit Lid, Attil, Jayus, Qalqiliya. A total of 18 Palestinians were arrested.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
16 to 22 March: Throughout the week, IDF search and arrest campaigns took place in Ramallah, Al Mughayyir, Kharbatha Bani Harith, Bil’in, Budrus, An Nabi Salih and Bir Zeit. Sixteen Palestinian males were arrested. Two Palestinians were also arrested at a flying checkpoint in ‘Abud on the evening of 15 March.

21 March: Four Palestinian minors were detained in Jaba, located northeast of Jerusalem.

16 – 22 March: Search campaigns took place in Hebron and Ad Dhahiriya with two Palestinians arrested.

The Gaza Strip
17 March: Four Palestinians were detained when they were spotted by IDF troops approaching the border Line north east of Kissufim.

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


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