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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
18 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 (12 - 18 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 incidents and significant report -- Appendix


1. Casualties

Palestinians: Deaths: 26; Injured: 62 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 8; Injured: 27 (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): 2
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

12 January: The IDF entered the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) Emergency Medical Station in Beit Ummar, Hebron Governorate. According to the PRCS, Israeli soldiers prevented the crew from responding to emergency calls.


Gaza:
Denial of access: 1
Delay (30 minutes): 0
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 2

14 January to ongoing: Following the Palestinian attack at Karni crossing on 13 January, no Palestinian patients are permitted through Erez for further treatment in Israel or the West Bank. Exceptions were made in four cases for patients with severe illnesses. Another 10 coordination requests were denied.
14 January: Warning shots were fired in the area of a MoH ambulance near Erez crossing when it was on the way to evacuate an injured man. No injures or damages were reported.
15 January: Warning shots were fired in the vicinity of a MoH ambulance in Al Zaitoun area south of Gaza City when it was on the way to evacuate injured people. No injures or damages were reported.
16 January: A MoH ambulance was denied access on Beach Road. The ambulance was transporting a dead body from the central Gaza area to the north Gaza area.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH,

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank:
13 January: The IDF demolished a two-storey house in Qarawat Bani Zeid. A woman and her five children were made homeless.
17 January: Five houses and six structures were demolished in Al Walaja village west of Bethlehem by the Israeli Border Police. Two of the houses were inhabited; eight people were made homeless and forced to relocate.



Gaza:
• No incidents were reported.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1
West Bank:
• Land levelling near the area of Deir Ballout and Ar Zawiya has been ongoing throughout the week in preparation for construction of the Barrier.
• Levelling of land near Kafriat checkpoint in Tulkarm Governorate continued throughout the week in preparation for construction of a new tunnel under Road 57.
• Land levelling in the western part of Hebron Governorate, where the Barrier is due to be constructed has continued throughout the week. Contractors are working from Surif to Khirbet ad Deir and from Tarqoumiya down to Beit Awwa.
9 January: (Not reported previously) Order no. 87/04 was issued for the requisition of 351 dunums (35.1 hectares) of land in northwest Jerusalem Governorate for the construction of the Barrier. The order affects the villages of Qatanna, Al Qubeiba and Beit Anan. Approximately 1.56 dunums (.156 hectares) of Palestinian land will be west of the Barrier.
11 January: (Not reported previously) The Palestinian DCL received military order no. 2004-7564 1/04 calling for the restriction of construction along a buffer zone on both sides of the Barrier in Kardala and Bardala areas, Tubas Governorate.
16 January: The IDF released military order T/99/04 to a Palestinian owner of land in Beit Jala. The land requisition order, issued 30 December 2004, covers approximately 0.3 dunums (.03 hectares) for the creation of a security road or other military infrastructure in the area of the Beit Jala DCO checkpoint.
17 January: The Israeli Border Police began widening a road at the back of the village of Al Walaja, Bethlehem Governorate, connecting the road leading to Cremisan to the Ein Yalow checkpoint.

Gaza:
13 January: Forty-one dunums (4.1 hectares) of land planted with olive trees were levelled in the area east of Al Buraij refugee camp in the Gaza middle zone. Additionally, one hen pen was completely destroyed.
15 January: Forty dunums (4 hectares) of land planted with citrus and vegetables plants were levelled in Gaza City in the southern area of Al Sheikh Ejlien.

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

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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. Although all parts of Kafriat checkpoint remained manned during the week, no restrictions were imposed on Palestinian-plated vehicles, which in general could cross the checkpoint. No restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Tulkarm town. Flying checkpoints were reported around Sha’raweyah and Attel-Illar Junction.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local population residing in and travelling on the eastern side of the Barrier. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open the entire week. No restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Qalqiliya town.
• Flying checkpoints at the entrance of Qalqiliya and delays at Azzon Atma checkpoints were reported. In Kuf Thulth, settlers started asphalting a road belonging to Palestinian farmers. At Izbet Tabib village, the IDF closed the open space of the village entrance. No restrictions were imposed on the local populations.
• In Salfit District, the 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, Qaraw at Bani Hassan and Yasuf severely hamper movement. Flying checkpoints were reported around Bruqin.
17 January: In Hares village, Israeli soldiers conducted a search campaign.
18 January: A flying checkpoint was reported between Kufr Ein and Qarawet Bani Zaid.

___________
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:
16 to 17 January: The IDF set up a flying checkpoint on Road 60 near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village, Nablus District. All vehicles passing were subject to checks.
17 January: The IDF closed Hamra checkpoint, Nablus District, preventing access to Palestinians for more than eight hours.
17 January: The IDF closed Tayasir gate, Tubas District, preventing access to Palestinians for two hours.
18 January: The IDF opened fire in the direction of pedestrians trying to reach the village of Till, Nablus District, from Nablus city. No injuries were reported.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
12 to 16 January: Soldiers at Qalandiya checkpoint prevented Palestinians carrying Jerusalem IDs, except those residing in Kafr ‘Aqab, Qalandiya and Samiramees, and driving yellow-plated vehicles, from entering Ramallah through Qalandiya checkpoint. Pedestrians with Jerusalem IDs were randomly checked. The Israeli DCL at Ar Ram reported that there are no new regulations for Jerusalem-ID holders.
13 January: A checkpoint operated at the main entrance of ‘Abud throughout the day. The checkpoint was lifted around 6pm and replaced by an earth mound, which was removed the following day.
13 January: A flying checkpoint was set up at Surda on the Ramallah-Bir Zeit Road at around 4.30pm during the rush hour and lifted around 7.30pm. Long delays were reported.
15 January: Long delays were reported at the Ni’lin checkpoint as vehicles and IDs were being checked during the morning rush hour.
16 January: A flying checkpoint was again set up at Surda around 3pm and operated until approximately 9pm. The IDF prevented vehicles and pedestrians from passing the checkpoint in either direction for at least one hour Heavy congestion was reported. According to the Palestinian DCL, the IDF had reported a shooting incident at a settler car near Bet El and a “security alert” was in force.

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.

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.
East: The IDF has closed the area known as the Gate near Al ‘Eizariyy - Ras Al Amoud. Palestinians currently use 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 ‘Eizariyya. 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 and on Qatanna land near the Green Line.
12 to 13 January: Construction in Biddu, Bet Surik, Bet Iksa, Bet Anan, Al Qubeiba, Kharayib Umm al Lahim, An Nabi Samwil and areas west of Qatanna took place, but was halted on Thursday, 13 January following an Israeli High Court temporary injunction.
12 to 13 January: Levelling of land following military orders issued on 9 January for the north western areas of Jerusalem Governorate continued in Bet Anan, Beit Ijza area in Kharayib Umm al Lahim, and about 50 olive trees were marked for uprooting.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
• The access restrictions in the village of Al Walaja continue to increase. Movement to the urban area of Bethlehem is restricted by physical barriers and daily flying checkpoints/patrols. The trend of vehicle confiscations observed since the New Year continues, with Israeli Border Police seizing vehicles in the part of the village considered to fall under the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. Daily links with nearby Beit Jala are being severed as the movement of people and supplies becomes increasingly problematic. Prices for public transportation, if available, have doubled as the risk of being caught by the Israeli Border Police rises.
18 January: A second bus run by a private Palestinian operator in Al Walaja, Bethlehem Governorate, was confiscated by the Israeli Border Police on the grounds that it was illegally trespassing into Jerusalem municipality. The bus provided basic transportation for Palestinians to Bethlehem including pupils moving from Walaja to the school in Beit Jala.
17 to 18 January: The IDF dug trenches and erected an earth mound on the internal roads connecting Beit ‘Awwa village with the nearby Deir Samit village during a military operation.

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.
17 to 19 January: Through prior coordination with the IDF, 20 people will be permitted in and out of As-Seafa for the Eid’s preparations.
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.
12 to 18 January: Tel As-Sultan checkpoint remained completely closed.
13 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was completely closed
14 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was open for Palestinians leaving Al Mawasi.
• Since 15 January: Al Tuffah checkpoint was completely closed. No entry or exit 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.

Other Gaza Strip:
16 January: The IDF officially announced that the opening hours at Abu Holi checkpoint and the Beach Road would be reduced to seven hours a day, 8am to 3pm. When these two locations are closed, the Gaza Strip is effectively divided in three parts, making movement between north, middle and south Gaza Strip impossible.

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.
• As a result of the new access restrictions on Abu Holi checkpoint and the Beach Road, students moving between Gaza City and the Gaza middle and southern areas are experiencing difficulties reaching their classes on time.

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 (as reported previously). In Bethlehem District, 577 workers' permits were issued and 635 permits for traders (as reported previously).
• In Jericho District, a total of 884 permits for entry to Israel (including East Jerusalem) and to move between checkpoints in the West Bank were issued; 104 permits were issued for traders.

Gaza:
13 December 2004: Israeli authorities issued 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and older. However, during this reporting period only a small number of traders were allowed through



9. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
12 January: One Palestinian was injured in Tubas when the IDF opened fire during a search campaign.
13 January: The IDF occupied two houses in Al Jabal Ash Shamali, Nablus city, restricting the Palestinian families to one room each. The IDF converted the rest of the two houses into observation posts. The houses were evacuated after three hours.
16 January: Palestinian militants fired at the IDF in Jenin city. Four IDF soldiers were injured.
16 January: The IDF fired at Palestinians in Balata Camp, Nablus District. Two Palestinians were injured.
17 January: IDF troops entered Jenin camp, Jenin District, and opened fire. A house was surrounded and an exchange of fire with Palestinian militants occurred. No injuries were reported, but two brothers were later arrested.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus city, Balata Camp, Camp No. 1, Beit Iba checkpoint, Deir al Hatab, Al Hamra checkpoint (Nablus District). Jenin city, Jenin Camp, Kufr Ra’I, Silat adh Dhahir, Deir Abu Da'if (Jenin District). In total, 29 Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
14 January: Two mentally disabled people were injured during an Israeli arrest operation.
• IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place during the week in Tulkarm Governorate. A total of 18 Palestinians were reported detained.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
13 January: The IDF surrounded two houses in Qarawat Bani Zeid around 4am, and ordered both families (eight children and four adults) out of their homes. According to the IDF, an exchange of fire took place and two Palestinian males, from Kafr ad Dik and Deir Ghassana, were killed and one woman from a neighbouring house was injured. The owners of the two houses were arrested and one of the houses was later demolished.
16 January: A residential building in Umm Shariyet was surrounded by the IDF around 10.30pm and all the occupants were ordered out of their apartments for about one hour. Three people were arrested from the building.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Al Bireh, Deir Ghassana, Deir Abu Mash’al, Al Jalazun camp, Beituniya, and Beit Rima. Palestinians were also detained at An Nabi Salih and Atara checkpoints and in Qarawat Bani Zeid. A total of 16 Palestinian males were detained.

Jerusalem/Jericho
13 January: Palestinian youths threw stones from Al ‘Isawiya toward Israeli-plated cars on the Ma’ale Adumim – Jerusalem Road. No injuries were reported.
15 and 17 January: IDF search-and arrest-campaigns took place in Jericho city. A total of four Palestinians were arrested. In Al ‘Isawiya two Palestinians were arrested. One Palestinian was also detained at the flying checkpoint at the entrance of Al ‘Eizariyya.

Hebron/Bethlehem
13 January: Eighteen Palestinians were injured by rubber coated metal bullets in Tarqumiya village northwest of Hebron. Another two Palestinians were injured by live ammunition in the same incident.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-campaigns took place in Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Hussan with a total of six arrests reported. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in the city of Hebron, Beit ‘Awwa, Idhna, Dura, Yatta and Tarqumiya; a total of 31 Palestinians was reported detained.

Gaza:
12 January: One Israeli was killed and four IDF troops were wounded in a Palestinian attack against Morag settlement North of Rafah.
13 January: Six Israelis were killed and five were injured, three seriously, in a Palestinian attack at Karni commercial crossing east of Gaza City.
14 January: IDF helicopters fired missiles towards the offices of Al Ihsan Charitable Society in the city of Deir Al Balah
16 January: A Palestinian woman and her son were killed, and her husband and nephew were injured when their house was hit by an IDF tank shell in Khan Younis refugee camp.
18 January: One IDF officer was killed and another eight soldiers injured in a suicide attack on Orhan IDF base in the southern part of Abu Holi checkpoint. Two Palestinians were reported injured.

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

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