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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
11 January 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 (5 - 11 January 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 -- Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: Deaths: 7; Injured: 18 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 2; Injured: 18 (approximate)

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

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

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

3. Curfews:
Curfews were reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
10 January: The Israeli High Court of Justice settled the case regarding the demolition orders for 23 houses in the northern part of the village of Al Walaja, in Bethlehem District. The demolition orders, issued by the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Ministry of Interior of Israel, have been confirmed as this area is considered to lie within the unilaterally expanded municipal boundary of Jerusalem that divides the village in two. The Palestinian owners of the structures have been asked to pay a fine equal to NIS 220/m2 and NIS 15,000 for the cost of demolishing the structures. Demolitions will have to be implemented within the next 18 months.

Gaza:
• No incidents were reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
2 January (Not reported last week): An amendment to the military requisition order for Khirbet Jbara town, Tulkarm District, covering 522 dunums (52.2 hectares), calls for the already constructed Barrier to be moved closer to the Green Line.
• Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballout and Ar Zawiya has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation for construction of the Barrier.

Gaza:
• No incidents were 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 eased movement restrictions for cars and pedestrians to facilitate movement for the Palestinian election. However, flying checkpoints were reported around Qafeen and Innab.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, the tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open the entire week.
11 January: At Azzun Atma checkpoint, the IDF did not allow Palestinians younger than 12 years old to pass if they were not carrying their birth certificates.
• In Salfit District, several earth mounds were removed to facilitate movement for the Palestinian election.

___________
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:
7 January: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint on Road 60 near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village, Nablus District.
7 January: The IDF set up flying checkpoints at the main entrances of Burin, Madama and ‘Asira al Qibliya villages, Nablus District.
8 January: The IDF closed Tayasir gate, Tubas District, preventing access of Palestinians for at least one hour.
9 January: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint at Jit Junction, Nablus District.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
9 January: Around 9pm, the IDF set up two checkpoints at Atara bridge and An Nabi Saleh gate prohibiting Palestinians movement. The Central Elections Commission contacted the Palestinian DCL to facilitate the essential movement of their Palestinian staff in/out of the northern area. According to the Palestinian DCL, the Israelis allowed for staff movement around 11pm and the checkpoints were removed around 6am the following morning.
10 January: A checkpoint operated at Atara bridge during the morning and evening rush hours. Long delays were reported.

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.
• 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 those Palestinians holding West Bank ID cards is denied by the Israeli Border Police.
9 January: Four manned gates in East Jerusalem were used to facilitate Palestinian movement on election day to areas outside East Jerusalem. However, very little movement was observed.
10 January: Israeli security forces set up several flying checkpoints in the Jerusalem area and near Qalandiya and Al Ram checkpoints due to a security alert that a suicide bomber from Jenin was travelling to Jerusalem.
11 January: More than six Israeli Border Police jeeps were stationed around the Biddu area in preparation for the continued construction of the Barrier. Palestinians were not allowed to use the back-to-back pedestrian system with taxis at the road blocks in Nabi Samwil to reach Qalandiya checkpoint. West Bank Palestinians with proper permits and Jerusalemites could instead access near Bet Ijza. West Bank Palestinians will now have to take the longer route through the underpass at Kharbatha al Misbah (Ramallah Governorate) to reach Ramallah.

Jerusalem Barrier:
North: Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling for the construction of the Barrier is also taking place alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages. Two sections of 3-metre high concrete wall slabs, both approximately 50-metres long, have been erected southwest and north of Hizma checkpoint.
East: The IDF has closed the area known as the Gate near Eizariyah Ras Elamood. Palestinians are currently using 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 ‘Eizariya. 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 is halted.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in Bet Duqqu, Qatanna, Kharayib Umm Al Lahim and Bet Anan. On 11 January, Israeli contractors protected by civilian security and Israeli Border Police were present in the area around between Biddu and Bet Surik. In Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik, construction is halted.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
9 January: The earth mound, which was present for more than a year, that blocked the entrance to Beit Sahur from Road 356 was removed.

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.
9 January: The gate was open from 7.30am to 12pm, 2pm to 5pm without restrictions to allow residents to vote in the Palestinian election.
10 January: Movement restrictions were reinstituted.
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. However, only men aged 50 years and older are permitted to cross back into Al Mawassi. Since 6 June 2004 to 26 December 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.
• Tel As-Sultan checkpoint remained completely closed during the week.
5 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was closed
7 to 8 January: The IDF reopened the checkpoint for people leaving Al Mawassi. No entry was permitted.
9 to 10 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was open in both directions without restrictions.
11 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was open for people leaving Al Mawassi only. No entry was permitted.
• 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.

Sources: OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Access to schools:
West Bank:
• Hundreds of students from Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya, (East Jerusalem Governorate) are experiencing difficulties reaching schools in Jerusalem Governorate. The gate near Ras al ‘Amud has been closed since 1 November 2004 and last week Israeli Border Police stopped Palestinian pedestrians from using the Monastery gate. Barrier construction around Ar Ram is also creating difficulties for students trying to reach their schools in Jerusalem.

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 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.
5 January: As a result of IDF shooting in the direction of Rafah camp, an UNRWA teacher was injured while inside an UNRWA school.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

8. Labour/trade movement to Israel
West Bank:
• According to the Nablus Chamber of Commerce (as reported last week), the monthly quota for Nablus Governorate for merchant’s permits to Israel was 700 permits. The chamber of commerce was also informed that the Israeli DCL office will not receive any permit application directly by the citizens in the next three months. Permit applications for merchants will instead be processed via the chamber of commerce, and permits for moving within the West Bank will be processed via the Palestinian DCL.
• In Hebron District (as reported last week), 1,700 workers’ permits were issued and 517 permits for traders. In Bethlehem District, 577 workers' permits were issued and 635 permits for traders.

Gaza:
• Israeli authorities issued 1,075 permits (as reported last week) for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and older. However, only a small number of traders were allowed through.



9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
6 January: Palestinians detonated an explosive device near an Israeli vehicle near Sa Nur settlement, Jenin District. No injuries were reported.
7 January: Palestinian militants shot dead one Israeli soldier and injured three near Osarin village/ Zaatara (Tappuakh) checkpoint, Nablus District, when they attacked an Israeli vehicle on Road 60.
8 January: Palestinian militants opened fire at an Israeli outpost near Kaddim settlement, Jenin District. One Israeli soldier was injured.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Nablus city Kafr Qalil and ‘Ásira al Qibliya villages, Nablus District. A total of 41 Palestinians were reported detained.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Tulkarm Governorate with a total of three Palestinians reported detained.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Rammun, Um Sharayet/Al Bireh neighbourhood, and Ramallah with a total of seven Palestinian males reported detained.

Jerusalem/Jericho
• No incidents were reported.

Hebron/Bethlehem
5 January: A Palestinian minor was killed by an IDF vehicle while he was crossing a road near to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The Israeli authorities are investigating the matter.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem, four Palestinians were detained. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in the city of Hebron, Dura, Al Majd, Surif and Idhna with a total of 24 Palestinians detained.

Gaza:
5 January: 12 IDF soldiers were wounded, when a Qassam rocket was fired from Gaza City toward their base near the Gaza-Israel border.
8 January: Two Spanish photographers were abducted by Palestinians, when they were filming in the west camp near Al Tuffah crossing in Khan Younis. They were released after 30 minutes.
9 January: Two IDF soldiers were injured when their base was attacked in Rafah.
11 January: An Israeli settler from the Gaza Strip, injured in a mortar attack nine days ago, died of his injuries.

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






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