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 (05 – 11 May 2004)
INSIDEINSIDE: Casualties — Incidents involving ambulances — Curfew — House demolition — Land levelling/confiscation — Checkpoints/roadblocks/Barrier/restrictions on movement — Education — Labour movement to Israel — Appendix
Palestinians: 18 deaths, 170 injured
Israelis: 6 deaths, 0 injured
International: 0 deaths, 3 injured
Sources: OCHA FCU, PRCS, IDF website, Israeli MoFA
2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access: 4 incidents
Delay (1-5 hours): 9 incidents
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 3 incidents (a medic was injured while transporting injuries in Deir al Balah area on 05 May)
Evacuation of Patient from an Ambulance: 1 incident:
Detention of Patient: 1 incident
Curfews were reported in the following locations:
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA
4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders
• 05 May: The IDF handed 2 demolition orders to three buildings in the old town of Hebron, Hebron District. The new orders numbers are T/ 1/ 04 and T/ 36/ 04 issued on 29 April 2004 to build a security road for the settlers to reach the Ibrahimi Mosque. These orders are connected to a previous demolition order.
• 09 May: IDF handed seven demolition orders to owners of shops, factories and houses in Barta'a ash Sharqiya village in Jenin governorate (Um ar Raihan enclave). The buildings are located on the green line between Barta'a ash Sharqiya and Barta'a al Gharbiya.
Sources: OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, PCHR, MSA
5. Land levelling/confiscation1
• 11 May: Settlers from Ma'on Settlement burnt wheat harvest of 4 dunums to a Palestinian from Am Fagarah near At Tuwani south east of Yatta, Hebron District.
• 04 May: IDF bulldozers uprooted 67 dunums of olive, palm trees and vegetable greenhouses in Dair Al Balah.
• 07 May: IDF tanks and bulldozers uprooted 12 dunums of olive, wheat and palm trees.
• 09 May: IDFuprooted 1.5 dunums of olive trees in the area west of Kfar Darom settlement.
Sources: OCHA FCU
1 4 dunums = 1 acre
6. Checkpoints2/Roadblocks/Separation Barrier/Restrictions on movement
• No major changes in the movement restrictions took place over the week compared to the previous one. Kafriat checkpoint in Tulkarm was open for groups with relevant permits only..
• 06 May: The road between Kfar Dirk and Bruqin in Salfit district has been closed by an earth mound. The road is still closed.
• There have been no major changes taking place on the agricultural gates over the past week. However, on 09 May, due to a "security alert", the IDF closed all of the Barrier gates for several hours during the day.
• Major delays occurred at checkpoints around Nablus, especially students and young people.
• Major delays and harassment were witnessed at Tayasir checkpoint in Tubas governorate. 05 May the gate was totally closed for Palestinians.
• 05 May: IDF manned the entrances of Al Fara'a refugee camp several hours during the day, searching Palestinians trying to enter the camp occasionally.
• 05 May: Beit Furik checkpoint (Nablus) was totally closed for Palestinians.
• 06 May: Huwwara checkpoint was totally closed for 1200 hours, UN staff were denied access on two separate occasions.
• 08 May: Flying checkpoints was established on the road connecting Tubas with Tamun village in Tubas governorate.
• The construction of the Barrier in the Budrus area was resumed on 06 May. The IDF had informed the Village Council on 5 May that the construction work would continue, and equipment was brought in the next morning.
• Construction of the Barrier on the southern edge of Beituniya and west towards Beit Ur Al Fauqa is ongoing.
• 06 May: At around 13:30 two IDF jeeps established a flying checkpoint between Surda and Bir Zeit, and prohibited movement between Bir Zeit and Ramallah for about three hours. The IDF patrol insisted that only vehicles would be allowed to pass. Tear gas was then fired into the crowd and queue of cars and taxis. After the IDF liaison officer intervened the checkpoint was removed at around 16.30. However, a second patrol later re-established another checkpoint in the same place for about one hour. Flying checkpoints on the Bir Zeit road are now a regular occurrence, sometimes delaying traffic for hours.
• The closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza has prevented people from entering Jerusalem as well as Jericho. Numerous flying checkpoints in East Jerusalem were established.
• IDF announced that closure and restrictions imposed at Jericho DCO Checkpoint southern main entrance of Jericho is lifted for residents of Jericho, tourists and Palestinians holding Jerusalem IDs.
• IDF started replacing the fence with 8-meter concrete slabs barrier at Qalandia Airport few meters north to the checkpoint and along the Airport airfield and adjacent to the Palestinian houses.
• Construction of the Barrier is continuing in different sections from Khallet an Nu’man northwards near Har Hommah settlement, Ash Sheikh Sa’ad, Sur Baher, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis and Al ‘Eizariya.
• The construction of the Barrier in Al ‘Eizariya east towards Mount of Olives near Beit Fagi monastery is moving rapidly and will close the remaining section of the passage from al ‘Eizariyah to the Mount of Olives.
• The construction of the Barrier opposite Al Quds University is moving rapidly.
• The construction of the Barrier ongoing opposite az Za'yem Checkpoint with land levelling east of the valley towards Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
• Land levelling for the construction of the Barrier in the north western villages of Biddu, Beit Duqqu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba and Qatanna has continued throughout the week.
• The stretch of concrete slabs in the middle of the road between Dahiet al Barid and Qalandiya checkpoint is now 800m long.
• In Bethlehem District, the IDF eased the restrictions on Palestinian movement between the western villages and Bethlehem at the Al Khadr – Husan junction. The Neqodim checkpoint was opened for Palestinian traffic and the concrete blocks at the entrance of Walaja village were removed. Beit Jala DCO checkpoint is still closed (since March 3). Palestinian movement into Jerusalem and Israel is still prohibited.
• The tight closure on the Hebron district during this week until 10 May when the IDF reopened the gates on Halhoul Bridge and the road to Beit Kahil, which had been closed since April 30. On 7 May the gate into Halhoul at Sa'ir / Halhoul Junction was closed, restricting movement of Palestinian vehicular traffic between Hebron and Bethlehem.
• 5 – 10 May: harassment was reported on Halhoul Bridge, with Border Police making people wait in line, gathering their ID cards and forcing young men to stand against the wall for a long time to be searched.
• 05 May: The IDF opened the gate at the entrance of Dura/at Al Fawwar/Dura junction, Hebron District.
• 06 May: The IDF erected a new observation tower at the junction of Idhna village with the bypass road No. 35, Hebron District.
• 06 May: The Israeli contractor working on the Barrier construction in An Nu'man village, Bethlehem District, cut off the only entrance road to the village. Border Police prevented residents from entering or exiting the village.
• 07 May: The IDF closed the gate into Halhoul at Sa'ir Halhoul Junction, Hebron District. UN and international organizations are allowed to enter Halhoul.
• 08 May: The Border Police removed the concrete blocks at the entrance of the village of Walaja, Bethlehem District.
• 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. Since 30 April, buses could not move in or out of Hebron because IDF closed the gates on Halhoul Bridge and put barbed wires, 50m before the bridge on Hebron side; the main road was closed by concrete blocks. At Gush Eitzion CP random checks took place and since 06 May, IDF has opened transit through the checkpoint allowing movement between the two districts. Buses headed to Jericho this week through Noqedim and "Container" checkpoints.
• 03 May: IDF began constructing a seven kilometre protective barrier which will run the length of the Kissumfim settler's road.
• 06 May: IDF installed a barbed wire fence along Kfar Darom Kissufim road west of Abu El Ajeen area in order to halt attacks against Israeli vehicles using that road.
• 11 May: Gaza strip has been divided into three segments since 11 May early morning. IDF blocked the beach road next to Netzarim settlement and closed Abu Holi check point. Abu Holi was occasionally opened. It was completely closed at around 12:00 PM.
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: As-Seafa gate was closed; with additional 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 29 April: IDF start to irregularly (open the gate not on time) allow the schools students to cross in and out, in addition to the 3-4 people mentioned above.
• On 09, 10, 11 May 2004, the gate was closed.
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. No passage is possible for male Al Mawassi ID holders aged 15-23 without prior coordination. Youths aged below 15 must be accompanied by a guardian. 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.
• Since May 2004, people aged below 30 years, required to have prior coordination to move through Al Toffah checkpoint.
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 20/7/2003 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
– UNICEF is regularly monitoring the IDF-organised transportation of school children from Jbara, Ramadin, Arab Abu Farda and Wadi Ar Rasha with an agreement between the parents, the Palestinian bus company and the Israeli DCL. Over the past week these buses were subject for several delays when crossing Jaljoulia checkpoint and Habla gate.
– 08 May: Upon return from the schools in the afternoon no soldiers were present at the Habla gate to facilitate the transportation. The soldiers arrived after 15 minutes later only after the intervention of UNICEF.
– 10 May: The bus was delayed approximately three hours at Habla gate upon return from the schools. Despite coordination between UNICEF and Qalqilya DCL, the soldiers did not arrive at the gate before 15:00 in the afternoon.
– 06 May: IDF tried to enter Al Badhan Secondary School. The school manager evacuated the students but students were harassed by IDF outside the school.
– 04 May: The Kafr Ni'ma village council and the Al Bireh based Popular Art Centre, in cooperation with UNDP, opened a children's public park with cinema in the village, the first of its kind in the area. The park will become an important venue for summer camps and children activities for children from all the villages in the area.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNRWA, UNICEF
8. Labour movement to Israel
• Tulkarm/Qalqilya: All work permits into Israel are still under suspension since 22 March. It is not clear when the restriction will be lifted. Only severe medical cases are granted permission into Israel for urgent treatment through co-ordination with the Palestinian DCL. As for trade permits, on Sunday, 09 May, the IDF officially started accepting to receive applications for trader permits into Israel, but no reply has been received to any of these permits.
– Since 18 April: Both Erez crossing and the Industrial Estate were closed and workers were allowed to cross.
– 11,429 workers holding valid work permits were not allowed to cross the Green Line due to the imposed closure. Since 22 March 2004, Erez checkpoint was closed for Palestinian workers but partially reopened for some tens of Palestinian traders aged 28 and above, on 28 March 2004.
Sources: OCHA FCU, UNSCO, PMG
• 05 May: during a large scale incursion into Dair Al Balah, IDF destroyed irrigation networks, water wells and stores and caused severe damage to roads, electricity and telephone lines and water pipes. Partial damage was reported to several houses in the targeted area and boundary walls were demolished.
• 05 May: IDF entered Jenin city shooting randomly during search and arrest campaigns in parts of the city, which caused damages to the water tanks on the roofs of houses.
• 08 May: IDF gunboats opened fire for five minutes on Palestinian fishing boats opposite Beach Camp forcing them to return towards the sea shore. No injuries were reported.
• 09 May: IDF gunboat opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats opposite Beach Camp, forcing them to move towards the sea shore. No injuries were reported.
Appendix: Checkpoints Status 05 – 11 May2004