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 (02 – 08 June 2004)

INSIDEINSIDE:   Casualties — Incidents involving ambulances — Curfew — House demolition/Demolition orders/People displaced — Land levelling/confiscation — Checkpoints/roadblocks/Barrier/restrictions on movement — Education — Labour movement to Israel — Other —  Appendix

1.  Casualties

Palestinians: 5 deaths, 24 injured
Israelis:  0 death, 1 injured

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

Denial of access: 1 incident

Delay (1 – 4.5 hours): 7 incidents (a woman in labour was forced to cross the checkpoint on foot)

Sources:  OCHA FCU, PRCS,

3. Curfews

Curfews were reported in the following locations:

4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders/People Displaced

03 June: Demolition orders, which were issued in 1999 and have been suspended by the Israeli High Court of Justice, were handed over again by IDF to owners of one fuel station, two chicken farms and one house in Nazlat al Wusta and two houses in An Nazlat al Gharbiya as the Court decided that these premises were built on illegal grounds.
03 June: Two houses, the foundations of a third house and three water cisterns built with DFID aid were demolished in Am Sidereh village near 'Arab al Fureijat in the southern part of Hebron district.  According to the IDF, all structures lacked building permits.  Three refugee families lost their accommodation and are in need of emergency shelter:  UNRWA delivered emergency supplies.
08 June: At least 500 people are still remaining at the 2 UNRWA transit centres in Rafah.

 

Sources:  OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, PCHR

5. Land levelling/confiscation1

West Bank:

06 June: IDF started uprooting olive trees in Ar Zawiya in Salfit district for further construction of the Barrier following the confiscation of 3,169 dunums of land two months ago, distributed between the three villages of Ar Zawiya, Rafat and Deir Ballout.
03 June: The IDF issued confiscation order T/57/04 for 11.8 dunums of land above the entrance of the southern tunnel on route 60.  The land belongs to the Beit Jala Municipality, Bethlehem District.

Gaza:

04 June:  9 dunums of land planted with vegetables were levelled south of Abu Al Ajeen near Kissufim road in Khan Younis.

Sources:  OCHA FCU

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1 4 dunums = 1 acre

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates:

The general movement across the checkpoints in the governorates of Tulkarm and Qalqilya has been relatively relaxed with no additional restrictions.  In Salfit district, movement between the villages is still hampered by a variety of closures, blocking the main roads.
Flying checkpoints were established occasionally at the main entrances of Tulkarm Town that connect the town with the villages of Illar, Attil, Baqa Ash Sharqiya and Bal'a as well as inside Tulkarm Town.
No major incidents have been reported in regard to the barrier gates; however significant delays in the opening hours continue to exist at Azzun Atma, Habla, Ras Tira and Jayyous south gates in Qalqilya governorate.
Movement restrictions into Israel across the "Green Line" saw some relaxation for Palestinian workers to enter Israel again.  The restriction to enter the West Bank from Israel through Tulkarem and Qalqilya is still maintained.
According to the Israeli DCL office, it is anticipated that the new electronic system for permits will be ready to launch in approximately 1-2 months.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:

Major delays occurred at checkpoints around Nablus.  Local and international humanitarian organizations continued to face difficulties and denials of access at Huwwara checkpoint.
Flying checkpoints were erected on road 60 between Al Lubban Ash Sharqiya and Turmus 'Ayya villages throughout the reporting period.
06 June:  A flying checkpoint was erected on the road connecting Ijnisinya village with 'Asira Ash Shamaliya village north of Nablus.
07 June:  Huwwara, Beit Iba and Beit Furik checkpoints were closed at 1600 for Palestinians.  Huwwara and Beit Iba checkpoints were reopened at 1800, Beit Furik checkpoint was reopened the next morning and a number of people had to spend the night at the checkpoint.

Ramallah/al-Bireh/Beituniya governorates:

04-08 June: Long delays reported at Atara partial checkpoint as IDF searched cars and IDs.
06 June:  A flying checkpoint was established between Surda and Ramallah prohibiting any movement between Surda and Ramallah for about two hours.  

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:

04 June:  Numerous flying checkpoints were established inside and around Jerusalem city during the week restricting movement to Palestinians attending  Friday prayers.
04 June:  2 UN staff members were delayed for 5 hours and one of them was beaten at Wadi El Nar checkpoint.
27 May – 08 June:  Jericho was put under closure again following a prisoner escape inside Jericho.  Only Internationals were permitted access in and out of Jericho.  The commercial back-to-back checkpoint was also closed.  Starting from 01 June, the checkpoint was re-opened for residents of Jericho.  Palestinians with Jerusalem or West Bank ID cards are not allowed access.  The back-to-back checkpoint was also reopened on 01 June for basic food needs with permits only.
AL Ram-Dahyeh:  Preparation for the construction of the Barrier along the main street from Ar Ram checkpoint to Qalandiya checkpoint.  IDF blocked the main entrances that lead to neighbourhoods on the western side of the main road by concrete blocks leaving one access road to the main road in Bir Nabalah.  The left lane of the main road from Industrial area Junction near Atarot is blocked and preparation is ongoing to install the 9 m concrete slabs.
Road 45:  This road between Qalandiya checkpoint and the west of Atarot road is under construction.  Traffic from North Jerusalem to East Jerusalem is diverted to use either road 45 that connects with road 443 that reaches Tel Aviv, or to use Hizma Jaba'a road north eastern side of Jerusalem Road 45 and road 5 will connect the Israeli settlements in the southern and northern parts of Jerusalem as well as Jerusalem settlements with the coastal area.
Construction of the Barrier in Jerusalem district is ongoing in An Nu'man, Ash Sheikh Sa'ad, Sur Baher, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis and Al 'Eizariya, Biddu, Beit Duqqu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba, Qatanna, Qalandiya airport and Ar Ram/Dahiyat Al Barid (Al Akbat).

Bethlehem/Hebron governorates:

01 – 08 June:  Access to the city of Hebron has been restricted at the checkpoint of Ras Al Joura as the bridge crossing between Hebron and Halhul remained closed for most of the time.
05 June:  The IDF erected the continuation of a barbed wire fence adjacent to the bypass road 375 near Husan village, Bethlehem District, from the Mosque to the entrance of the village.
05 – 07 June:  The IDF closed the gate of Halhul at the Sa'ir Halhoul junction, Hebron district.
05 June:  The Border Police closed the dirt road between Walaja village and Bethlehem, Bethlehem District.
05 June:  IDF erected a new gate at the entrance of Idhna village at junction with bypass road 35, Hebron District.
02 – 08 June:  The entrance into Tarqumiya village, Hebron District, at the junction with bypass road 35 remained closed by earth mounds.
08 June:  The IDF opened the Halhul Bridge, Hebron District, allowing traffic movement between Hebron city and Halhul.
The number of valid permits for the Hebron national bus company is 34, of which 26 for public transport between Hebron and Bethlehem and 8 for movement between Hebron and Jericho.  Due to the closure of the Hebron – Halhul bridge and the random checks by the IDF at the Nabi Yunis crossing, buses have stopped travelling at the closed intersection with Halhul on road 60.  The movement between Halhul and Bethlehem District is smooth since the Gush 'Etzion and Noqedim checkpoints are not continuously manned.  On 08 June, Halhul Bridge was opened so buses can reach the center of Hebron city.

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2For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please see the following link:  http://www.reliefweb.int/hic-opt/maps/Closure/mar/checkpoints march 04.pdf

Gaza

02 June:  IDF started installing concrete walls along the eastern perimeter of Gadid settlement.

The enclosed areas in Gaza:

As-Seafa: Movement remains restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate opening twice daily for As-Seafa ID holders from 06:30 to 08:30 and 14.00 to 16.30. Motor vehicles are not allowed to enter since November 2000, with the exception of international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.  Since 17 April 2004, As-Seafa gate was closed; with new movement restrictions imposed. Since 22 April  IDF is allowing 3-4 people to go in and out, for one time only with prior coordination in order to bring food in.

Since 03 June: no one aged below 30 is permitted to enter or leave.

Al-Mawassi: IDF imposed restrictions remain, with the entry-exit gate at Tuffah checkpoint opening twice daily for Al Mawassi ID holders from 07.00 to 09.00 and 14.30 to 17.00. Since 10 May 2004, males aged below 30 years, are required to have prior coordination to move through Tuffah checkpoint. Since 06 June, prior coordination is required for unmarried females aged 18-25.  Motor vehicles are not allowed to enter, with the exception of international agencies that have undertaken prior coordination with the IDF.

Tel Es-Sultan checkpoint was closed all week.

Kfar Darom.  The Palestinian area adjacent to Kfar Darom settlement was declared a Closed Military Zone following a suicide attack on 27 February 2004.  Since 20/7/2002 no vehicular movement was allowed as the IDF erected a fence around the area.  Movement restricted by the IDF with the entry-exit gate opening four times daily for Al Ma'ni ID holders from 06:30 to 07:30, 10:30 to 11:30, 13:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 17:00.

Sources:  OCHA FCU, UNSCO, UNRWA

7. Education

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas:
07 June:  Some Tawjihi students were stopped on their way to sit for Tawjihi final exams when IDF blocked the road in Rafidiay.
Gaza:  
02 June:  two pupils aged 10 years were injured (one serious neck injury) whilst in their classroom at the UNRWA Al Omariya Elementary school in Rafah when a bullet penetrated a window and hit both of them.
02 June:  IDF opened fire towards the UNRWA Tel Es-Sultan Elementary School causing panic amongst the students.
03 June:  7 windows of the UNRWA Ahmed Ben AbdelAziz School were broken as a result of the IDF shooting at Khan Younis camp.
Sources:  OCHA FCU, UNRWA

8. Labour movement to Israel

West Bank:

Tulkarm/Qalqilya:
A total number of 2000 work permits were issued together for workers in Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Salfit.  Another 141 trader permits and 46 medical permits were issued/renewed for Tulkarem.  No further trader permits were issued for Qalqilya and Salfit over the week.

Gaza:

On 31 May, Erez Industrial Zone was reopened for some Palestinian workers aged 30 and above, while traders aged 35 and above were allowed to enter Israel.

Sources:  OCHA FCU, UNSCO, PMG

9.  Other:

02 June:  According to representatives of the joint village council for the Masafer/Yatta area of Hebron, the IDF has offered residents of the local Khirbets (Jemba and surrounding) to relocate to 200-300 dunum of "state land" north of the bypass road 317 and in the vicinity of the Israeli settlement of Susya.  The offer was refused.

END


Appendix: Checkpoints Status 02 – 08 June 2004