Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
16 November 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 (10 - 16 November 2004)
: 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
Palestinians: Deaths: 9
Injured: 26 (approximate) Israelis:
Deaths: 0 Injured: 7 (approximate)
Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, UNRWA, IDF website, Israeli MoFA.
Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
No incidents reported.
Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, Palestinian MoH
Curfew was reported in the following locations:
Number of days/hours
Part of Tuqu' village, Bethlehem
10 to 11 November
Jenin Refugee camp
Burqa village, Nablus district
Sources: OCHA FCU, Village Councils, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL
House demolitions/Demolition orders/People displaced
West Bank and Gaza
No incidents reported.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA
Contractors stopped levelling land for the construction of the Barrier in the western villages of Hebron district, Beit 'Awwa, Sikka and Deir al 'Asal at Tahta. Land levelling has not restarted.
The IDF uprooted about 200 olive and almond trees near the junction of the settlement of Mizad B on Road 356, Hebron district, after an explosive device was thrown at an Israeli vehicle. The trees belonged to Palestinians from Sai'r village.
Israeli settlers from Qarne Shameron in Qalqiliya Governorate uprooted olive trees in the vicinity of the settlement. The olive trees belonged to a farmer from Kfur Thulth.
Sixty dunums (6 hectares) of olive, grape and fig trees were levelled in the Palestinian area north of Netzarim settlement.
Fifty-two dunums (5.2 hectares) of olive trees were levelled in Johr Ed-Dik area south of Karni Terminal.
Sources: OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL, Village Council
4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare
/Restrictions on movement
The Israeli authorities imposed a tight closure over the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip after the announcement of the death of Yasser Arafat.
In Tulkarm Governorate, the IDF maintained the restricted movement on the local population by manning all parts of the Kafriat checkpoint and only allowing pedestrians through. The IDF imposed closure on the governorate by suspending all movement into Israel proper and by also controlling the movement through the road gate in Anabta.
In Qalqiliya Governorate, no restrictions were imposed on the local population within the governorate. However, all movement into Israel proper was suspended after the death of Yasser Arafat. On 16 November, flying checkpoints were established at Jit junction and in front of Azzun gate. The tunnel between Qalqiliya town and Habla was open during the week.
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.
10 to 14 November:
Flying checkpoints were erected during the reporting period in 'Ein Shibli 2 kilometres before Hamra checkpoint and Sarra village (Nablus district); in Qabartiya, Az Zababida and Sanur villages (Jenin district); and in El Far'a refugee camp (Tubas district).
10 to 11 November:
A strict closure was imposed on Jenin city and Jenin refugee camp as all major entrances were closed.
11 to 12 November:
Hamra checkpoint (Nablus) was closed to Palestinians. Some humanitarian cases were allowed through.
Ramallah/Al Bireh governorates
10 to 11 November
: The IDF imposed a strict closure and several flying checkpoints were established around the Ramallah area 10 November until the evening, including between Beituniya and 'Ein Arik and on the Ramallah-Bir Zeit Road near Surda. Atara checkpoint was also operating.
: Access was possible for thousands of Palestinians who came to Ramallah in organised buses from other oPt areas to attend the burial of Yasser Arafat. The IDF opened the earth mound between Yabrud and Silwad to make access easier for Palestinians in some of the villages east of bypass Road 60 to reach Ramallah, as was agreed with the Palestinian DCL.
IDF mobile checkpoints were a daily presence at the entrance to Al 'Eizariya/Mishor Adumim settlement. Palestinian holding west Bank IDs were restricted to pass from Al 'Eizariyeh coming from the north.
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.
Ar Ram checkpoint was closed for several hours.
Following the death of Yasser Arafat, the West Bank was placed under closure. Permits for entry to Jerusalem for West Bank Palestinians were denied.
Access to Al Aqsa was limited to Palestinian Jerusalem ID holder older than 45 years of age.
Jerusalem Envelope Barrier:
Construction of the Barrier is continuing along Road 60, the main road, between Qalandiya and Ar-Ram checkpoints. Land levelling and construction for the Barrier are taking place alongside the road between Hizma and Anata villages.
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.
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.
Movement in the Governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem was restricted with all checkpoints preventing Palestinian vehicular traffic from crossing. Those with permits for Israel/Jerusalem were also not allowed to pass. Many flying checkpoints were set up at main junctions across bypass roads in Hebron district such as those of Al Khadr -- Husan, Sa'ir -- Halhul, Dura-Al Fawwar. The tunnel under bypass Road 35 to Beit Kahil, Hebron Governorate, was restricted while movement was limited on bypass Roads 60, 35, 317 hampering the movement of Palestinians between the different areas of the two districts.
The IDF closed the area of Bab Az Zaweiya, Hebron city, by moving the concrete blocks back to their previous places closing the streets of King Faisal, Al 'Adel and Be'er Shev'a.
11 and 12 November:
An IDF flying checkpoint prevented Palestinian pedestrians at the Al Khadr-Husan junction from crossing out of or into Al Khadr.
11 and 12 November:
The IDF closed the Beit Jala DCO, Noqedim, Efrat and Gush 'Etzion checkpoints preventing Palestinians traffic from crossing between cities and villages.
11 and 12 November:
The IDF placed barbed wire near Rachel's Tomb from the Bethlehem side closing the area of the Al Waqf building, two gas stations and a shop. Employees and people were prevented from reaching the area. With additional barbed wire, the IDF closed the Caritas Baby Hospital road, which is the main road Palestinians use to reach the hospital, the houses in the area and the Gilo checkpoint.
Palestinians who carried West Bank IDs were not allowed access to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque on the fifth Friday of Ramadan at Gilo and Tunnels checkpoints even if they had permits.
11 to 15 November:
The IDF closed all the checkpoints on the Green Line in both Hebron and Bethlehem, preventing Palestinians with permits from entering Jerusalem/Israel.
The enclosed areas in the Gaza strip
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 closed.
10, 12 to 16 November:
The gate was open twice a day during the reporting period except on 16 November when it was open for one time.
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.
11 and 12 November
: Al Tuffah checkpoint was closed.
10 to 16 November:
Tel As-Sultan checkpoint remained closed during the week.
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
For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please see the following link:
Olive Harvest incidents
No incidents reported.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, Palestinian DCL
Access to schools
• All schools and universities have been closed since 11 November in mourning for Yasser Arafat. This will last until 20 November.
• Due to the current UNRWA national staff strike, all classes in UNRWA West Bank schools are suspended.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF, Palestinian DCL
• During the reported 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.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF
Labour/trade movement to Israel
• All movement into Israel proper was suspended indefinitely after the death of Yasser Arafat on 11 November.
• A total of 5,166 permits have been issued for workers and 226 permits for traders aged 35 and older including 2,000 permits to stay overnight. However, only a small number of traders have been allowed access.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNSCO, Palestinian DCL
A construction materials shop burned in Jenin city after the IDF used explosives to open the shop’s door.
A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was injured during clashes with the IDF in Jenin refugee camp.
10 and 16 November:
Several houses were occupied in Jenin refugee camp and Jenin city as part of an operation that began on 28 October. The residents were forced to leave their houses. The occupation period varied between 10 hours to six days.
During clashes, the IDF destroyed the main electricity transformer in El Far’a refugee camp (Tubas). The transformer serves the refugee camp (population 7,000) and the water pump servicing the camp.
• IDF search-and-arrest operations took place during the week in the following locations: Nablus city, Askar camp (Nablus), Jenin refugee camp, Jenin city and Rujeib village (Nablus). Forty-two Palestinians were reported arrested in these operations.
A Palestinian was shot by the IDF near the DCO checkpoint in Qalqiliya after a car pursuit on Road 55 from An Nabi Elyas. According to PRCS in Qalqiliya, the person was subsequently hospitalised in Israel and has not been confirmed dead.
: According to the governor’s office in Qalqilya, farmers were denied access through the Zufin gate despite having a valid green permit.
Ramallah /Al Bireh
: A mourning strike was observed in the Ramallah Governorate, as in the rest of the oPt, after the announcement of the death of Yasser Arafat. People started gathered in the Muqata’ to mark his passing.
From the early morning, demonstrations were held in Ramallah as thousands of people made their way to the Muqata’ for Yasser Arafat’s burial. From 13 to 15 November, thousands of individuals and hundreds of delegations arrived at the Muqata’ to give condolences to the PA and PLO leadership. A 40-day mourning period was announced.
Palestinians stoned IDF soldiers stationed at Ar Ram checkpoint. The IDF did not retaliate. No injuries were reported.
: Following Yasser Arafat’s death, there were support demonstrations, followed by clashes with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem, Shu’fat, Shu’fat refugee camp and in the Old City. No injuries were reported. A total of three Palestinians were reported arrested.
: Following additional access restrictions to Al Aqsa during Ramadan that limited access to Palestinian Jerusalem ID holders older than 45 years of age, dozens of youth tried to enter the holy site. Clashes with Israeli security forces erupted. No injuries were reported. One Palestinian was reported arrested.
Eleven Palestinians trying to enter the Temple Mount were arrested by Israeli police forces.
Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli police in Al ‘Isawiya, East Jerusalem. One Israeli policeman was reported injured.
One Palestinian minor was injured and hospitalised in Yatta, Hebron district, due to an explosion of a suspicious device.
: The IDF shot dead one Palestinian and injured three in Beit Ummar town, Hebron district, during clashes with the IDF following the announcement of the death of Yasser Arafat.
: Four Israeli settlers were lightly injured near the settlement of Mizad B, Hebron district, when an explosive device was thrown at their vehicle.
10 November to date
: Search-and-arrest campaigns took place in Hebron city, Yatta, Dura, Bethlehem and Al Ma'sara. Six Palestinians were arrested in total.
Two Israelis were wounded when five mortar shells were fired from Khan Younis toward Neveh Dekalim settlement.
Sources: OCHA FCUs, UNRWA, UNSECCORD, UNSCO, Palestinian DCLs, Palestinian Governors’ offices, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, IDF