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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
6 July 2004
OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS
P.O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem
Phone: (972) 2 – 5829962 / 5825853, Fax: (972) 2 – 5825841
OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes
Update for oPt (30June - 06 July 2004)
: Casualties -- Incidents involving ambulances -- Curfew -- House demolition/Demolition orders/People displaced -- Land levelling/confiscation --
Checkpoints/roadblocks/Barrier/restrictions on movement -- Education -- Labour movement to Israel -- Other -- Appendix
Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, UNRWA, IDF website, Israeli MoFA.
Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
With the closure of Abu Houli checkpoint on 30 June, 01 and 2 July, MoH and PRCS ambulance operations between Gaza South and Gaza middle-north ceased completely.
Denial of access: 1 incident
Delay (1 – 2 hours): 2 incident (in one incident a patient died due to the delay at Allenby Bridge)
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 1incident
Abuse of Medical crew: 1 incident
Curfew was reported in the following location:
Sources: OCHA FCU
House demolitions/Demolition Orders/People Displaced
• 30 June
: the IDF evicted and destroyed the tents of seven Bedouin families living west of Deir Ballout in Salfit district. According to the DCL in Qalqilya, the Bedouins were residing illegally on state land (area C).
Sources: OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, PCHR
• Approximately 160 olive trees were uprooted near the village of Farata in Qalqilya district by settlers as well as some 150 olive trees near Kfar Thulth. According to the DCL in Qalqilya, the trees were planted on state land (area C) and therefore lacked permission.
: IDF destroyed between 3-4 dunums of land with olive trees along road 585 near Ya’abad town in Jenin governorate.
: The IDF uprooted 60 olive trees beside road 443 belonging to Beit Sira village claiming that children and youth use the trees as cover to throw stones and a Molotov cocktail, which the villagers confirm it’s not the case.
: The IDF began levelling land of Beit Ta'mir, and Za'atra villages, Bethlehem district, to continue building the Za'atra bypass road on the east side of Bethlehem district.
: The IDF cut down more than 300 olive trees near Tarqumiya checkpoint, Hebron district of Beit Kahil village.
1 – 6 July
: Israeli levelled land of the Armenian Monastery adjacent to 'Ayda refugee camp, Bethlehem district, for construction of the Barrier in the area.
Since 29 June
: IDF bulldozers have carried out a major bulldozing operation in Beit Hanoun. More than 1,000 dunums of different crops (mainly citrus trees) were destroyed. No exact figures are available to date as access to these areas is restricted by the IDF presence.
: 8 dunums of citrus and olive trees were uprooted at the area east of Abu Houli checkpoint.
Sources: OCHA FCU
4 dunums = 1 acre
/Restrictions on movement
• The general situation remained relaxed in all three districts during the course of the week with only few military operations. No additional restrictions were imposed on the local population. However, flying checkpoints were established frequently on the main roads, where delays were reported especially at the Enav and Jit junctions.
: An earth mound was removed in Deir Istiya in Salfit district in addition to the one that was removed in Haris some two months ago.
• At Kafriat checkpoint, the IDF is no longer checking the local population entering and leaving Tulkarm town from the West Bank side. However, movement to and from Israel on road 57 is still restricted and vehicles searched. On Saturday, 03 July yellow plated cars returning to Israel were delayed up to two hours.
• Delays in the opening hours of the barrier gates are still reported, in particular the gate at Azzun Atma where individuals and vehicles searched. Difficulties have also been reported at Zufin gate in Qalqilya where farmers have been denied access despite holding valid “green permits” as their names were not on the IDF gate list.
• Access has been eased between the villages and town of Tulkarm after removing a number of earth mounds. However, the villagers of Rammin are still facing difficulties in the movement because of the bigger number of earth mounds blocking the main entrances mainly from road 57. To facilitate the access, the World Bank through PECDAR has allocated funding to construct a new bypass road connecting Ramin with the neighbouring village of Bizzariya, which has relatively easy access to Anabta and from there further into Tulkarm town. The tender process began on 6 July.
: Preparation for the Barrier construction in Az Zawiya, Salfit district, resumed but suspended again on 03 July following a court order. The work around Ariel is still suspended pending new court decision.
For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please check the following link:
: Hamra checkpoint in the Jordan valley was closed most of the day.
: Flying checkpoints were established on road 578 in the Jordan Valley.
: Checkpoints were established around Ya’abad town in Jenin governorate closing all the entrances of the town.
: Checkpoints around Nablus city were closed until 0900.
• Construction of the Barrier continues on the western edge of Budrus and around Beituniya.
• The construction of an Israeli settler bypass road (between Nilli and Ofarim settlements, western Ramallah) has cut off three Palestinian households (39 people) from accessing (with vehicles) the road to their village Shuqba and road 465.
: The IDF operated a strict checkpoint at An Nabi Saleh gate throughout the day following the killing in Deir Ghassana of an Israeli driver.
: Following a security alert, the IDF closed all checkpoints (except the DCO/Bet EL) for several hours around Ramallah. Qalandiya and Atara checkpoints were also closed. At Atara, people were allowed access to Bir Zeit but only ambulances and UN were allowed to travel north.
• Residents of Silwad continue to be prohibited from travelling outside the country (via Allenby Bridge).
: Restrictions on movement in and around Jerusalem at Qalandiya and Ar Ram checkpoints were imposed. Ar Ram checkpoint was closed from 5 am and re-opened at 12 midnight. A flying checkpoint was established on Jaba road .Road 45 was closed for several hours the same day.
02 & 03 July
: Container checkpoint was closed for several hours. Long delays were reported.
• Restrictions on movement and long delays were reported at Jericho DCO checkpoint for Palestinians holding West Bank IDs. Residents of Jericho exit using public transportation only.
• Barrier construction is still going on In Jerusalem , Sheikh Saed and sawahreh El sharqiyeh , and at the main road 60 AR-Ram and near Dahiyet ALAqbat wadi Ayad, and near Jaba Hizmah road and Qataneh.
30 June – 6 July
: The IDF set up a new checkpoint on the bypass road 317 near Ar Rifa'iyya village, Hebron District.
: The IDF closed off the Tarqumiya checkpoint, Hebron district, for one hour restricting the movement of people and commercial goods in or out of Hebron.
: The IDF closed Beit Ummar gate, Hebron district, after a fire bomb was thrown on an Israeli bus passing on the bypass road 60.
• The number of valid permits for Hebron national bus company is 34, of which 26 for public transport between Hebron and Bethlehem and 8 for movement between Hebron and Jericho. Buses were prevented to enter Bethlehem through Beit Jala DCO checkpoint.
The enclosed areas in Gaza:
: Movement remains restricted by the IDF; the entry-exit gate opens twice daily for As-Seafa ID holders from 06:30 to 08:30 and 14:00 to 16:30. Vehicles have not been permitted to enter since November 2000, with the exception of international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF. Since 17 April 2004, the As-Seafa gate has been largely closed, with very restricted movement.
Since 22 April 2004 the IDF has allowed only 3-4 people to go in and out, for one time only with prior coordination in order to bring food in.
Since 03 June, nobody aged below 30 is permitted to enter or leave.
• On 02 July, the Gate was open only for one hour.
: IDF restrictions remain, with the entry-exit gate at
opening twice daily for Al Mawassi ID holders from 08.00 to 13.00 and 14.30 to 17.00.
10 May 2004
, males aged below 30 years, are required to have prior coordination to move though Tuffah checkpoint. Since
06 June 2004
, prior coordination is required for unmarried females aged 18-25. Vehicles are not allowed to pass, with the exception of international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.
checkpoint closed all the week.
: No one was able to enter Al Mawassi but some residents were allowed to leave Al Mawassi.
: The Palestinian area adjacent to Kfar Darom settlement was declared a Closed Military Zone following a suicide attack on 27 February 2004. Since 20 July 2002 no vehicular movement has been allowed as the IDF erected a fence around the area. Movement restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate opening four times daily for Al Maa’ni ID holders only from 06:30 to 07:30, 10:30 to 11:30, 13:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 17:00.
On 29 June 2004, Gaza North town of Beit Hanoun was declared a closed military area following the Qassam rocket attack on Sederot on June 28th. All roads leading in and out of the area are blocked by sand barriers and/or trenches. Salah Ed Din street is blocked by two big sand barriers at Beit Lahia – Jaballia junction and at the by pass road south of Erez. As a result, motor vehicles are not allowed to enter with the exception of international agencies that have to undertake a prior coordination with the IDF.
Source OCHA FCUs, UNSCO and UNRWA
Labour movement to Israel
• No new work or trader permits have been issued last week for Salfit and Qalqilya. In Tulkarm, 10 new work permits were issued and no trade permits. The total number of work permits in Tulkarm is 750. The total of trade permits in Tulkarm is 900, 600 in Qalqilya and 300 for Salfit.
• According to Palestinian DCL in Tulkarm, the processing of “green permits” has been suspended over the last ten days due to holidays at the Israeli DCL. More than 100 applications are pending. In general, there are increased difficulties for farmers in obtaining green permits. Apart from security concerns, often applications are not being accepted due to failure in presenting correct and duly signed documents of ownership. Over a period of three months from February to June, the Palestinian DCL reported that only 571 out of 1242 applications in Tulkarm governorate were approved. Typically, farmers receive a permit valid for three months whereas permanent residents behind the Barrier receive “green permits” valid between 6 and 12 months.
• The agricultural gate in Qaffin soon will be open for farmers (the IDF has announced that this gate only will be open during harvest season), the farmers of Qaffin submitted a total of 161 applications some three months ago. Only one has been approved.
• The Israeli authorities have issued 500 work permits for Atarot industrial estate for Palestinians from the Ramallah area. A confirmation of employment by an Israeli employer is requested for works before applying for the permits.
• In Hebron, 1392 new permits were issued for traders and 855 permits were issued for workers for three months period this month. 262 permits were issued for the bypass roads.
• In Bethlehem, 989 new permits were issued for workers for three months period. No permits were issued for traders this month.
• A total of 1067 permits have been issued for workers and 383 permits for traders aged 35 and above. However, only several hundred workers and traders were actually allowed to enter.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNSCO, PMG