Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
14 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 (8 - 14 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: 13; Injured: 39 (approximate)
Israelis: Deaths: 5; Injured: 13 (approximate)
Internationals: Deaths: 1; Injured: 2

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

West Bank:
Denial of access: 3
Delay (30 minutes): 4
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 0

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

• Both MoH and PRCS were not able to transport patients and medical teams to and from the Gaza middle areas and the Gaza southern areas because of the closure of the Beach Road and Abu Holi checkpoint.

Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH

3. Curfews
Curfew was reported in the following locations:


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

4. House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced

West Bank:
8 December: The IDF demolished five houses (housing for 20 people) and several shacks at the entrance of Bir Nabala, Jerusalem District, under the pretext that they were built without proper permits.
9 December: A demolition order for an agricultural house near Efrata settlement was handed to a Palestinian from Al Khadr village, Bethlehem District.
11 December: The IDF demolished an apartment in Al Jib, under the pretext that it was built without a proper permit.
13 December: An IDF tank fired shells at a four-storey building in Nablus partially destroying one apartment and damaging two other apartments. One neighbouring house was moderately damaged and another 31 houses were slightly damaged. The damages were caused by the tank shelling and an exchange of fire between the IDF and an armed Palestinian in the area.




Gaza:
9 December: One shop was demolished in Beit Lahia when it was struck by an IAF missile.
13 December: One workshop and one house were partially destroyed when they were hit by missiles in an IAF air strike on Gaza City.
14 December: Sixteen houses were demolished in the area west of the Austrian housing project in Khan Younis.



Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA

5. Land levelling/Requisitions1

West Bank:
9 December: The IDF met with local farmers from Tulkarm at a plot of land that was requisitioned in early May 2004 near Kafriat checkpoint as part of preparation for construction of a tunnel under Road 57. The meeting was arranged with the farmers to discuss where to move the olive trees that are an obstruction for the planned tunnel project.
9 December: A total of 117 olive trees planted behind the Barrier near the village of Jayyous in Qalqiliya Governorate were uprooted by Israeli settlers. The uprooting stopped in the afternoon after IDF intervention. In conjunction with the ongoing levelling of the adjoining land that started 28 November, the uprooting was reportedly part of preparation for an expansion of Zufin settlement.
9 December: A new military order (T/74/04) calls for the requisition of 270 dunums (27 hectares) of land belonging to Palestinians from Surif and Al Jab'a villages, Hebron District, for the construction of the Barrier.
12 December: Israeli contractors started levelling land west of Husan village, Bethlehem District, in preparation for the construction of the Barrier.
13 December: Land levelling began on the west side of Bil’in village.
Gaza:
• No incidents reported.

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

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit governorates:
• In Tulkarm Governorate, the procedures for crossing Kafriat checkpoint in vehicles fluctuated. At times, vehicles were allowed in, but not out. Other times the restriction applied both ways regardless of valid permits. No extraordinary restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Tulkarm town.
1 December: A new terminal checkpoint Efrayim adjacent to Taybeh checkpoint has been constructed and is being used. This new checkpoint will only serve Palestinian workers and traders and others from Tulkarm Governorate with a special permit to enter Israel. The checkpoint will be open daily between 5am and 5pm. Taybeh checkpoint will remain open for commercial trucks using the back-to-back system, diplomatic and international organisations only between 7.30am and 5pm.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local population. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla remained open during week. No extraordinary restrictions were imposed on Arab-Israelis travelling to Qalqiliya town.
• In Salfit District, the movement between the villages continues to be hampered by the existence of roadblocks and earth mounds and the restrictions to travel on the main roads.

__________
1 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare
2 For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please check the following link: http://www.reliefweb.int/hicopt/maps/Closure/mar/checkpoints_july04.pdf



Barrier gates

• The Qalqiliya south gate opposite Habla has now been closed since September following a suicide attack. Consequently, farmers who need to access their land located beyond the Barrier have had travel through the tunnel and then access their land from Habla.
• The IDF soldiers guarding the Barrier gate into Azzun Atma in Qalqiliya Governorate continue to confront UN agencies and international organisations with the requirement to undertake prior coordination before being allowed to enter. Usually, this requirement is more prevalent in the beginning of a new month when new soldiers are assigned to the gate.
• Upon request from the ICRC, the IDF agreed to open the Zeita south gate in Tulkarm Governorate temporarily - 8 to 15 December - to enable the local farmers to complete the harvest. The farmers from Zeita (some 24 families) have, until now, had to access their olive groves through the gate in Attil. Also the gates in Faroun and Jbara are temporarily open to facilitate access for the local farmers.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
8 December: The earth mound at the entrance of the three villages of ‘Azmut, Deir al Hatab and Salim (Nablus) reopened (it was closed 17 March 2004). The IDF checked those passing through.
8 to 14 December: Palestinians were not allowed to travel or carry any food products through Imreiha (Reikhan) checkpoint.
9 December: According to the IDF, the age group requiring permits to access Nablus city was lowered from 30 to 25 years. Najah University students residing within the Governorate of Nablus were to be given free access to Nablus city every day, while students from other governorates were to be given access on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
9 and 13 December: A flying checkpoint was erected on Road 60 near Al Lubban ash Sharqiya village (Nablus).
10 December: A flying checkpoint was erected on Road 60 near Burqa village (Nablus).
10 to 11 December: A flying checkpoint was erected at the entrance of Tummun village (Tubas).
11 December: Flying checkpoints were erected east and south of Tubas city near El Far’a refugee camp and An Nassariya village (Nablus).
11 to 14 December: Flying checkpoints were erected between the villages of Talluza, Al Badhan, ‘Asira ash Shamaliya (Nablus) and El Far’a refugee camp (Tubas).
14 December: The earth mound at the entrance of ‘Aba village (Jenin) was manned by IDF preventing all Palestinians from crossing it.

Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates:
• The checkpoint at Atara bridge was in operation every day during the week.
12 December: At about 3pm, the IDF established a checkpoint at An Nabi Salih gate.
13 December: The IDF closed Atara, ‘Ein ‘Arik and An Nabi Salih gate between 2pm and 5pm causing long delays. Several flying checkpoints operated along bypass Road 465 throughout the day.

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.

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. Barrier construction in Sur Bahir is halted.
Northwest: Construction of the Barrier is ongoing in Bet Duqqu, Qatanna and Kharayib Umm Al Lahim. In Biddu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Bet Surik, construction is halted.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:
12 December: The IDF closed all the entrances of Tuqu' village, Bethlehem District, with earth mounds during an IDF search campaign.

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 open all the week except 13 December.
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.
• Since 8 December, Al Tuffah checkpoint was open only for persons leaving Al Mawasi. 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.

Source OCHA FCUs and UNRWA

7. Olive Harvest
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:
8 to 14 December: Farmers from Zabda village (Jenin) were not allowed access to reach their olive groves west of the Barrier. Their permits had expired before being they were able to collect all their olives.

8. Access to schools:
West Bank:
8 to 14 December: The IDF and the Israel Police continue to provide twice-daily armed escorts to five children from Tuba village, in the area of Masafer Yatta (south Hebron) to ensure their protection from attacks from nearby Israeli settlers and allow them to reach their school in At Tuwani village.
10 to 14 December: Students from Taluza village (Nablus) were unable to reach their schools because of curfew imposed on the village.

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. On 13 December, no pupil was permitted exit from As-Seafa.
11 December: Two windows of an UNRWA school were broken as several bullets fired by the IDF hit the school.

Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL

9. Labour/trade movement to Israel
Gaza:
13 December: Israeli authorities issued 1,075 permits for Palestinian merchants and agricultural workers aged 35 years and older.



Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL

10. Other:
Nablus/Jenin/Tubas
11 December: One Palestinian was injured during clashes with the IDF in El Far’a refugee camp (Tubas).
13 December: The IDF forced a nurse in Talluza village (Nablus) to leave the village clinic saying she was violating curfew.
12 to 13 December: At 11pm, the IDF entered Jabal Al Shamali District in Nablus and surrounded Haddada building. At 4am (13 December), an exchange of fire between the IDF and an armed Palestinian was heard in the area. At 5am, an IDF tank arrived at the site and fired on the building. During the operation, one Palestinian was killed and three IDF soldiers were injured. During the operation several houses in the area were damaged.
8 to 14 December: IDF search-and-arrest operations took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus city, 'Askar camp (Nablus), Burqin village (Jenin) and Tubas. Eleven Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya/Salfit
11 December: The French NGO Premier Urgence reported coming under gunfire while visiting the Barrier in Qalqiliya with two French journalists, who taking pictures of the Barrier.
11 December: Israel settlers from Ariel threw stones at local farmers from Iskaka in Salfit District and prevented them from accessing their olive groves.
• In Tulkarm Governorate, IDF search campaigns and military operations were conducted in Faroun, Deir al Ghusun, Attil, Qaffin, Tulkarm town and the refugee camp. All entrances were closed during the operations in Tulkarm town and camp on 12 December. A total of two persons were reported arrested and one person injured.
• In Qalqiliya Governorate, IDF search campaigns and military operations were conducted in Qalqiliya town, Kfur Thulth and Jayyous. A total of 24 persons have been reported arrested (19 in Kfur Thulth and five in Qalqiliya town).
• In Salfit District, IDF search campaigns and military operations were conducted in Bruqin, Haris and Ar Zawiya. Two persons were reported arrested in Bruqin.

Ramallah /Al Bireh
7 December: (Not reported last week). At about 5pm, people from Budrus village and a group of international and Israeli peace activists demonstrated against Barrier construction. The IDF fired tear gas canisters and shock grenades at the demonstrators. No injuries were reported. Thirty-six people were detained for several hours and four Palestinians were arrested.
14 December: Clashes occurred between residents from Bil’in, Ramallah District, and the IDF. Nine Palestinians were reported injured.
• Throughout the week, IDF search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Qarawat Bani Zeid , Beituniya, Al Bireh, Ramallah, Budrus and Beit Rima. A total of 13 Palestinian males and one female were reported arrested.

Jerusalem/Jericho
12 December: The Israeli Intelligence Office arrested five Palestinians in East Jerusalem, allegedly from a Hamas cell, suspected of planning the suicide bombing at Café Hillel in West Jerusalem in September last year.

Hebron/Bethlehem
10 December: The IDF occupied a house in Husan village, Bethlehem District, forcing the six members of the Palestinian family to leave the house until further notice. The IDF converted the house into an observation post. The house was evacuated by the IDF after three hours.
10 December: Palestinians and international activists held a demonstration to protest against the building of the Barrier in Idhna village, Hebron District. The IDF intervened by using tear gas and sound bombs to disperse the protesters.
11 December: Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian residents and attempted to break into their houses located near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the Jaber, As Salayma and Wad an Nasara neighbourhoods, in the old town of Hebron.
8 to 14 December: Search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Bethlehem city, 'Ayda camp, Al Khadr, Tuqu' and Ad Doha in Bethlehem with six Palestinians arrested. In Hebron, search-and-arrest campaigns took place in the city of Hebron, Beit Kahil, Beit 'Awwa and Adh Dhahiriya with a total of 20 Palestinians arrested.

Gaza:
9 December: An IAF aircraft fired at a car travelling on Salah Al Din road between Khan Younis and Rafah. Three people were injured.
11 December: Five Palestinian fishermen were arrested.
12 December: Five IDF soldiers were killed and another six were injured in an attack against an IDF base close to Rafah Terminal. A booby-trapped tunnel exploded underneath the base. After the explosion, two Palestinian gunmen, reportedly from Hamas and Fatah Hawks, opened fire toward the soldiers. One of the attackers was killed when the IDF returned fire.
13 December: The IDF trisected the Gaza Strip by closing the coastal road and Abu Houli checkpoint separating the northern area from the middle and the south.
13 December: IAF helicopters fired missiles toward two targets in Gaza City. As a result, a metal workshop and an empty house were damaged.
14 December: Palestinians fired mortars toward the Gani Tall settlement in the Gush Katif settlement block. As a result, one female worker was killed and two male workers were injured. The casualties were workers from Thailand.
14 December: One IDF soldier was injured in an IDF base in northern Gaza after a Qassam rocket attack against the base.

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








Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter