Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
30 June 2005
: The Barrier and Access
Points to Jerusalem (refer also to Map below)
The construction of the Barrier in and around East Jerusalem is almost complete with the exception of the section around Az-Za’ayyem checkpoint (9). Checkpoints in the Barrier will regulate the movement of Palestinians to and from Jerusalem, and are likely to lead to a further reduction in the number of Palestinians entering Jerusalem. The Barrier places approximately 60,000 Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs on the east side of the Barrier.
UN field monitoring and liaison with the IDF have provided and update on Israel’s plans to regulate movement between the West Bank and East Jerusalem and Israel. (A more comprehensive report on humanitarian impact is forthcoming).
• In north Jerusalem there are two enclaves, ‘Biddu enclave’, home to approximately 43,000 Palestinians, and ‘Bir Nabala enclave’, home to approximately 15,000 Palestinians. Residents of these enclaves will be linked to Ramallah by underpasses and a road that is fenced on both sides. From Biddu enclave, they will travel along a fenced road that passes under a bypass road to Bir Nabala enclave, then on a second underpass under Bypass Road 443 to Ramallah.
• Once this route is in operation, the Ramot Alon checkpoint (1) will be removed to allow free movement into Jerusalem for settlers from Givat Ze’ev and neighbouring settlements.
• IDF Seizure Orders show that the Israeli government plans to erect six agricultural gates serving communities in the Biddu and Bir Nabala enclaves to access their land adjacent to the Barrier.
• Major construction work is currently underway at Qalandiya checkpoint (4). It will serve as the main checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. The current Ar-Ram checkpoint (6) will be dismantled. This will mean that Palestinian residents of Ar-Ram, many of whom have Jerusalem IDs or attend school in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem, will have to make a detour north to Qalandiya to enter Jerusalem.
• Hizma checkpoint (7) will be enlarged to three lanes to cater for more traffic, especially settlers from the northern West Bank settlements.
• All residents of Shu’fat refugee camp (over 10,000 refugees), which is located within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, are holders of Jerusalem IDs. However, the camp will be located to the east of the Barrier. Shu’fat checkpoint (8) will regulate movement from one side of the Barrier to the other.
• A new checkpoint for pedestrians (10) will be constructed between Al ‘Eizariya and East Jerusalem. Vehicles will use the Az-Za’ayyem checkpoint (9).
• A new checkpoint at Ras al ‘Amud (11) will be constructed for tourists and pilgrims.
• A checkpoint is planned at Jabal al Mukabbir (12) for pedestrians.
• Mazmouria (13) will be a new checkpoint erected initially for Palestinian pedestrians and then later, also for commercial vehicles, similar to the Beituniya commercial checkpoint (3), to the north of Jerusalem.
• Initially, Palestinians will use Gilo checkpoint (14) but later, it will be restricted to use by Jerusalem ID holders, students, humanitarian workers, tourists and emergency medical cases.
• On completion of the Barrier, the Beit Jala DCO (15) will be dismantled and residents of the southern West Bank will use Mazmouria checkpoint (13) and Gilo checkpoint (14) to enter Jerusalem.
II. New Humanitarian Reports
Human Rights Watch: “Promoting Impunity”
The Israeli military fosters a climate of impunity in its ranks by failing to adequately investigate allegations of wrongdoings by Israeli soldiers alleged to have caused Palestinian civilian casualties unlawfully or failed to protect them from harm. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report, “Promoting Impunity: The Israeli Military’s Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing,” released 22 June.
Since the second intifada began in 2000 until November 30, 2004, more than 1600 Palestinian civilians not involved in hostilities, including at least 500 children, were killed by Israeli security forces, and thousands more were seriously injured. “However, the Israeli authorities have investigated fewer than five percent of the fatal incidents to determine whether soldiers were responsible for using force unlawfully. The investigations they did conduct fell far short of international standards for independent and impartial inquiries,” according to HRW.
According to B'Tselem, an Israeli information centre, since September 2000 until 26 June 2005, Israeli security forces have killed at least 1,722 Palestinians not taking part in the hostilities, among them 563 minors. In only two cases were soldiers convicted of causing the death of a Palestinian.
For more information, see:
World Health Organization: Health care during Gaza Strip Withdrawal
Health care needs in the Gaza Strip, particularly related to emergency referral care, are at risk of not being addressed if access to adequate health facilities is not guaranteed and implemented by Israel, according to a World Health Organization report, “Disengagement - Healthcare during withdrawal operations in Gaza” released 20 June.
The main issues during the disengagement period related to access, to be addressed, are: patient capacity to reach the health facilities of the appropriate level of care; the access of health workers to their places of work; and the delivery of drugs and medical supplies to the health facilities.
For more information, see: [
PCBS: The Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook No. 7
The estimated population in Jerusalem Governorate at the end of the year 2004 was 393,997 persons and the unemployment rate for persons aged 15 years and older was 22.8%. Of those employed from Jerusalem, 64.4% were working in the Palestinian territory and 35.6% in Israel and settlements, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook No. 7.
For more information, see: [
III. Humanitarian assistance to the oPt
$500 million in US supplies to Gaza Strip hospitals
Medical supplies worth $500 million were distributed to four hospitals in the Gaza Strip by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in response to a request by the Liaison and Coordination Administration in the Gaza Strip. The medical supplies, which include oxygen compressors to produce oxygen rich air, are intended to reduce dependence on imported Israeli oxygen tanks. Oxygen is vital for the adequate provision of emergency care provision, particularly during surgery.
For more information, see:[
World Bank: The Gaza Strip emergency water project
On 7 June, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a project grant of US $20 million. The project is planned to develop a sustainable institutional structure of the water and wastewater sector in the Gaza Strip; and to continue improving the water and sanitation services by rehabilitation, upgrading and expansion of the existing systems and facilities.
For more information, see: [
US government launches agribusiness initiative
On 23 June, the US government launched a multimillion dollar project aimed at stimulating the growth of jobs, income and export earnings in the Palestinian agricultural sector. The Palestinian Agribusiness Partnership Activity, a three-year project funded by USAID, is expected to generate thousands of new jobs.
For more information, see:[
AusAID: $6.2 million for Middle East Refugees on World Refugee Day
On 20 June, World Refugee Day, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) announced a package of $6.2 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinian refugees. The funds will be administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
Japan’s contributes US $3.2 million to UNICEF
Japan announced a US $3.2 million contribution to UNICEF for children’s and women’s health to provide basic immunization coverage in the oPt.
For more information, see: [
OPEC Fund extends US $1.2 million grant for social services project
On 15 June, the OPEC Fund for International Development approved a grant of US $1.2 million to support the activities of 12 civil society organisations in the Gaza Strip. The aim is to assist the poorest and hardest hit communities by addressing shortages and helping to meet some of their most urgent needs. An earlier phase of the project supported a similar initiative in the West Bank.
For more information, see: press release on the OPEC fund for International
IV. Humanitarian Events
Workshop held on the Needs Analysis Framework
On 15 June 2005, OCHA organised a workshop on the Needs Analysis Framework (NAF). With representatives participating from more than 30 different organisations, the workshop was intended to bring together the actors in the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP), including UN agencies, international and local NGOs, as well as representatives from the Palestinian Authority.
The NAF is a tool to help humanitarian coordinators and Country Teams organize and present existing information on humanitarian needs in a coherent and consistent manner, prior to developing a Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP).
Visit by Professor John Dugard to the oPt
Professor John Dugard, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, visited to investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Professor Dugard will submit his visit report to the Third Committee of the General Assembly in November, where he intends to draw attention to Israel’s continued control over the Gaza Strip after the withdrawal of settlers; the construction of the Barrier in defiance of The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice; the expansion of settlements; and the humanitarian crisis in the oPt.
Local and global launch of the Mid-Year Review
for the CAP 2005
On 30 June 2005, in parallel with the global launch, UN agencies presented the local Mid-Year Review (MYR) of the 2005 emergency appeal that requested US$ 305 million from donors. The appeal is 45% funded, the majority of funding allocated to food aid, job creation and infrastructure projects. The emergency health sector was 9% funded and education, 2%. The launch included a description of the Humanitarian Assistance database comprising emergency projects. This will serve as a useful tool for donors and agencies to update project information and view funding gaps in the appeal.
Escalation of settler violence in lead up to Disengagement
Several incidents of settler violence this month point to rising tensions as the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank draws closer.
In addition to demonstrations in Israel, an increase in incidents of settler violence against Palestinians have also been observed during June. On 9 June, for example, settlers from Alon Shvut cut down 59 (20-year old) peach trees and 340 grape vines belonging to three farmers in Khallet Zakariah community in Bethlehem governorate. Other settler incidents reported this month include physical attacks on Palestinians, poisoning of Palestinian grazing fields and the burning and levelling of agricultural land.
The number of Palestinian deaths was high at the end of 2004 and January 2005 primarily due to Israeli incursions into the Gaza Strip. The number has fallen since February this year following progress on the political front. The announcement of a period of calm by Palestinian militant groups on 23 January, and the Israeli government announcement that it would halt targeted assassinations three days later paved the way for a meeting between Presidents Abbas and Sharon in Sharm al Sheikh in early February.
The majority of the large number of buildings that were demolished at the end of 2004 were located in the Gaza Strip. The demolition of buildings in the Gaza Strip has stopped but demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have continued and show a slight increase.
Following the Israeli government’s approval of the revised route of the Barrier on 20 February, there was an increase in land requisition orders, many of which were in Bethlehem, Hebron and East Jerusalem in preparation for the construction of the Barrier.