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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
13 November 2007
By deviating significantly into the West Bank, the Barrier has already created a new geographical and bureaucratic reality for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the northern West Bank. In the Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqiliya, Salfit districts, the land between the Barrier and the Green Line was declared closed by military order in October 2003.
All Palestinians aged 16 and above living in the closed area now require ‘long term’ or ‘permanent resident’ permits to continue to reside in their own homes.
The Barrier also isolates the land and water resources of a far greater number of Palestinians, principally farmers who, while residing to the east of the Barrier, now require ‘visitor’ permits to access their lands through designated gates1.
As part of regular Barrier monitoring, OCHA and UNRWA carried out a pilot survey of some 57 communities affected by the Barrier in the Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqiliya and northern Salfit districts in 20062. Between February and May 2007, a more comprehensive study was carried out in the same affected districts in the northern West Bank.
Representatives from some 67 communities were interviewed, including municipality/village council officials and local farmers, to gather data and identify trends.
A comprehensive report outlining the methodology, detailed findings, case studies and tables will follow as part of the regular OCHA/UNRWA updates on The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier. This Special Focus presents the preliminary findings regarding communities and populations affected; permit allocation; gate restrictions; closed area communities; displacement; and ill-treatment at the gates.
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