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


Protection of Civilians – Weekly Briefing Notes

12 – 18 October 2005

Protection – Deaths and injuries . Shelter and Property – People displaced, House demolitions, Demolition orders . Natural Resources – Land levelling, Requisitions, Tree Uprooting . Restrictions on Medical Assistance – Incidents involving safety and movement of ambulances, medical teams, humanitarian organisations . Access and Movement for Civilians – Curfews, Access to education, Access to employment, Closures/Movement restrictions . Additional Protection Issues

Of note this week:

• Following two separate Palestinian militant attacks that killed three Israeli settlers and wounded six others, the IDF and Border Police tightened movement restrictions throughout the West Bank. These restrictions, particularly in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron governorates restricted Palestinians access to major bypass roads and isolated some communities after additional closure measures were put in place.

1. Physical Protection

Casualty Incidents:

• 13 October: One Palestinian infant was injured when Israeli settlers stoned the vehicle he was traveling in East Jerusalem during Yom Kippor (the child and his family were trying to reach a hospital at the time of the incident).

14 October: At around 1pm, three Palestinians were injured during a demonstration against the construction of the Barrier in Bil’in, Ramallah.

15 October: An IDF soldier died from injuries he had sustained on 7 January 2005 in a drive by shooting incident by Palestinian militants near Migdalim settlement, Nablus.

16 October: IDF soldiers assaulted a 16-year-old Palestinian shepherd near Al ‘Aqaba village, Tubas.

16 October: IDF soldiers shot at a car near the southern entrance of Jenin City, Jenin, killing a 26-year-old Palestinian and injuring a Palestinian bystander.

16 October: A 13-year-old Palestinian was injured in the town of Tarqumiya, Hebron, when IDF soldiers responded to stone throwing by firing rubber-coated metal bullets.

16 October: Three Israeli settlers (23, 21, and 15 years old) were killed and another four were injured when Palestinian militants opened fire toward group of Israeli settlers near Gush ‘Etzion junction, Bethlehem. Two of the three people killed were living in the Israeli settlement of Karmel while the third person killed was a resident of Ma’on settlement, Hebron.

16 October: Two Israeli settlers from ‘Eli settlement, Nablus, were injured after Palestinian militants opened fire toward them near the settlement.

2. Shelter and Property

Shelter Incidents:

• 12 June: The IDF partially destroyed a house belonging to a Palestinian family from the town of Adh Dhahiriya, Hebron, while pursuing a Palestinian who was hiding inside the house. According to the Municipality of Adh Dhahiriya the estimated cost of the house is of approximately two million NIS.

3. Natural Resources

Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting1

Nablus, Jenin and Tubas Governorate:

• No incidents to report.

Tulkarm Governorate:

• 12 October: The Palestinian DCL received two copies of amendments to orders requisitioning an additional 61.6 dunums (6.2 hectares) under order T/68/05 and 102.5 dunums (10.3 hectares) under order T/77/05 of Palestinian land. The requisition orders are to build a new fence around Avnei Khefets and Enav settlements.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Land levelling around Avnei Khefets and Enav settlements continues for the construction of a new fence around the settlements for a buffer zone.

Qalqiliya Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– The IDF continued levelling land near Immatin village and between ‘Azzun and Kafr Thulth for the construction of the Barrier.

Salfit Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Israeli contractors continued levelling land north of Salfit City, Iskaka and Deir Istiya villages and south of Marda and Kifl Haris villages around Ari’el settlement and near Az Zawiya and Deir Ballut villages for the construction of the Barrier.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:

• 7 October (previously unreported): At least 500 grape trees belong to a Palestinian from ‘Abud were uprooted by settlers from the nearby settlements in the area (Ofarim and Beit Arye settlements).

• Ongoing incidents:

– Land levelling for construction of the Barrier continues between Budrus to the south of al Midya and between Kharbatha Bani Harith, Bil’in and Saffa villages (all west Ramallah). Land levelling also continues between Beituniya and Beit ‘Ur al Fauqa, between At Tira and Beit Duqqu, south of Beit Liqya and north and south of Rantis checkpoint.

Hebron Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Land leveling for construction of the Barrier is ongoing along the southern section of the Green Line, east of Shani settlement and up to Ar Ramadin, and on the western side of Idhna. Israeli contractors are also leveling land for a new terminal along the last section of Road No. 60 before crossing into Israel.

Bethlehem Governorate:

• Contractors for the construction of the Barrier finished fencing the area around Khallet an Nu’man. The road from Al Khas remains open.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Land levelling and building construction continues inside of the settlement of Efrat and in its two northern outposts (Givat Hatamar and Givat Hadagan), as well as north east of Neve Daniel (in its most recent expansion), and in Har Gilo and Betar Illit.

Jerusalem Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Construction of the Barrier is taking place all along the projected route in the Jerusalem governorate; exceptions to this are northeast of Al ‘Eizariyya towards Ma’ale Adumim settlement and the planned Bir Nabala enclave.

Jericho Governorate:

• No incidents to report.

The Gaza Strip:

• 12 October: The IDF started constructing a separation security wall north of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

4. Restriction on Humanitarian Assistance

• The ICRC family visitation programme to Israeli prisons remained suspended as a result external closures imposed on the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 24 September.

16 – 18 October: Following two attacks by Palestinian militants in Bethlehem and Nablus governorates, the IDF further restricted internal movement in the West Bank. As of 18 October, the access and movement for international humanitarian organisations and critical service providers was re-established.

17 October: Palestinian working with International and medical organizations were denied access through the DCO checkpoint for Ramallah (the normal crossing point) which caused long delays and disruption.

5. Access and Movement for Civilians

a) Curfews

16 October: The IDF imposed a curfew on Kafr Qalil village, Nablus, for three hours during a search and arrest campaign.

b) Access to Education

Ramallah/Al Bireh:

• 15 October: Students from Beit Rima, Deir Ghassanah and An Nabi Saleh were unable to reach their schools due to an IDF search and arrest campaign in Beit Rima and Deir Ghassaneh area.

18 October: Palestinian students from Deir Nidham were unable to reach their schools in neighbouring villages and Ramallah due to a flying checkpoint at the north western entrance which is the only road open to the village.

18 October: Delays in schools starting in the northern villages of Ramallah were reported due to the movement restrictions imposed by the IDF along bypass Road No. 465. Both teachers and students experienced long delays reaching their schools.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:

• 18 October: A number of students were unable to reach Abu Dis University due to the tight closure and the movement restrictions on Palestinians which were imposed by the IDF.

Hebron Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Teachers coming from the Palestinian towns of Yatta and Samu’ are still facing problems in reaching Imneizil elementary school. This week IDF soldiers managing the Beit Yatir checkpoint denied the teachers access, detaining them for several hours. In some cases, the teachers were sent back for not having the proper permits to reach the Palestinian village of Imneizil.
– The IDF and Israeli Police continue to escort Palestinian students walking from Tuba to their school in At Tuwani, south Hebron. The escort is taking place to protect the students from possible attacks carried by Israeli settlers from Ma’on settlement. During the week the military escort has not met the students returning home on time causing an average delay of one hour. On 16 October the escort was two and half hours late for the return trip. On 17 October the IDF DCL informed the community that they would suspend the military escort for the students for seven days in view of the greater insecurity in the area. So far no alternatives have been provided to the schoolchildren except to take a detour of 10 km on foot.
– This week the IDF and Israeli border police intensified their presence around Hebron University and Al Quds Open University, in the H1 area of Hebron City. The soldiers harassed and physically assaulted students and staff from both universities. The long checking system which the soldiers use disturbed the normal study day.
– Children attending the Al Ibrahimmiyye and Cordoba primary school in the Old City of Hebron have continued to pass through the metal detector set up by the IDF in the main roads which lead to the schools.

c) Access to Employment

This week, the IDF and Israeli Border Police continued to impose external closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; workers and traders with valid permits were not allowed to enter Israel. These closures have been in place since 24 September.

d) Closures/Movement restrictions

Nablus Governorate:

• 12 – 13 October: The IDF closed ‘Awarta commercial checkpoint due to the Jewish holidays.

16 – 17 October: The IDF closed Zaatara checkpoint in both directions.

17 October: The IDF closed the southern entrance of Jamma’in village, Nablus, with an earth mound.

17 October: The IDF closed the eastern main entrance to As Sawyia village, Nablus, and one agricultural road with earth mounds.

17 – 18 October: Starting at 2 pm on 17 October, the IDF closed ‘Awarta commercial checkpoint due to the Jewish holidays.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Shave Shomeron checkpoint remains closed.
– All entrances connecting Sabastiya village with Road No. 60 remain blocked by earth mounds.

Jenin Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– The IDF closed all the entrances to Ya’bad village with road blocks and barbed wire. Only one alternative road is open towards Jenin City through Kufeirit village.
– The IDF closed Road No. 585 from Mevo Dotan settlement entrance to Khermesh settlement entrance with two checkpoints.
– The IDF established a metal gate at a road leading from Ya’bad town to Road No. 585 which is hindering Palestinian movement in the area. Palestinians are using alternative dirt roads to reach there charcoal factorises and olive groves in the area.

Tubas Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Palestinians holding permits to the “Jericho area” were denied access at Tayasir checkpoint. Only Palestinian residents from Kardala and Bardala villages and Palestinian holders of West Bank permits are allowed to cross.

Tulkarm Governorate:

12, 13, 17 and 18 October: The IDF closed Taybeh commercial checkpoint due to the Jewish holidays.

• Ongoing incidents:

– The IDF continues to prevent Palestinians with Israeli IDs from entering Palestinian controlled areas unless they have relatives living in Tulkarm.
– The ‘Anabta gate remained closed for Palestinian vehicular movement.
– The IDF is still manning a checkpoint west of ‘Anabta village on the junction to Bizzariya village.

Qalqiliya Governorate:

• No incidents to report.

Salfit Governorate:

• 17 October: The IDF closed the entrance of Deir Istiya village with an earth mound and closed the gate at the entrance of Kafr ad Dik.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:

• 15 October: At around 6am, the IDF closed An Nabi Salih gate for approximately three hours during a search and arrest operation carried out in Beit Rima village.

17 October: Thousands of Palestinians were stranded on both sides of Qalandiya checkpoint during the evening and Palestinians experienced long delays going to their homes to make it for “Iftar” (breaking of the fast during Ramadan).

17 October: The IDF prohibited all movements of Palestinian plated vehicles on Road No. 465. Palestinians from the villages had to use dirt tracks to be able to get in/out of their villages following Palestinian militant attack near Eli settlement the previous day.

18 October: All Palestinian vehicles were not allowed access through An Nabi Salih gate following a shooting incident at the Israeli settlement of Khalamish on 17 October. Palestinians from Bani Zeid area had to travel via Ajjul and then to Atara partial checkpoint.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Temporary traffic and pedestrian arrangements are now in place at Qalandiya checkpoint while new construction there continues. The main road through the old checkpoint is now closed by a roadblock. Traffic is being rerouted to a new road to the east that joins the main road between Qalandiya and Jaba'. A temporary fenced walkway is in place for pedestrians.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:

• 17 October: The IDF imposed tight closure around Jerusalem and at the checkpoints to the City after two separate Palestinian militant attacks on 16 October,

17 – 18 October: A flying checkpoint was in operation at Jaba’ (Geva Binyamin) junction to prevent Palestinian plated cars from movements on Road No. 60.

Hebron/Bethlehem governorates:

• 16 -18 October: Following the attack by Palestinian militants on 16 October, the IDF imposed additional movement restrictions on Hebron and Bethlehem governorates along the Road No. 60 axis. No Palestinian private vehicles are allowed on Road No. 60 south of Jerusalem, but as of 18 October Palestinian public transport vehicles were allowed back onto this road ensuring connections between Hebron and Bethlehem. Villages in western Bethlehem, the city of Hebron,

as well as Yatta and its surrounding villages were under total closure.

Hebron Governorate:

• 13 and 14 October: The Israeli authorities denied access for Palestinians to the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Al-Ibrahimi Mosque).It is currently the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims as well as important holydays for the Jewish population.

16 – 18 October: The IDF sealed all the entrances to the city of Hebron (population of 170,000) from Road No. 60 and 35 and some of its surrounding villages and towns. The junction of Halhul-Sa’ir was closed on both sides with earth mounds; similarly, the Dura-Al Fawar junction was also blocked with dirt mounds, restricting the movement of another 100,000 Palestinians living in town of Yatta and its surrounding villages and cutting off further the 6,000 Palestinians living south of Road No. 317. The gates at the Idhna-Tarqumiya junction (across Road No. 35) and at Zif (from Road No. 317) have been closed. No Palestinian traffic is allowed south of the Halhul – Sa’ir junction and only Palestinian buses and taxis are allowed to move on Road No. 60 between Halhul and the Al Khadr-Husan junction. At least seven new flying checkpoints were recorded in the governorate, particularly along bypass roads and in the western areas at critical junctions.

Bethlehem Governorate:

14 October: At Gilo checkpoint, the Israeli Border Police allowed only Palestinians of 45 years or more to cross into Jerusalem to attend Friday Prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old City. “Jerusalem” permits were not considered a valid travel document on the day.

16 -18 October: The IDF closed with road blocks the Al Khadr- Husan junction leaving all the western villages (16,000 people) with no access to Bethlehem but on foot; the road from Al Jab’a to Surif has also been closed off with road blocks. No private cars are allowed to travel on any of the by bypass roads but Palestinian public transportation is permitted to reach the Al Khadr without need for permits. The IDF re-established the Efrat checkpoint and closed Beit Jala DCO to all vehicles, although pedestrians can get through.

• Ongoing:

– In Imneizil the construction of the Barrier continues to close the main road which leads to the village forcing residents to use a difficult and insecure road to enter the village from the nearby bypass road.

West Bank: Reported flying checkpoints

The Gaza Strip:

This week, the IDF and Israeli Border Police continued to impose external closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; workers and traders with valid permits were not allowed to enter Israel. These closures have been in place since 24 September. Rafah crossing point has remained closed since 7 September.

6. Additional Protection Issues

• 15 October: A group of settlers from Itamar (Tel Haym) settlement approached the vicinity of Beit Furik village, Nablus, and threw stones and molotov cocktails at some houses in the village. No injuries were reported. One Palestinian car was damaged.

14 October: Four international activists were detained during a demonstration against the construction of the Barrier in Bil’in, Ramallah.

12 October: The municipality of the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, Hebron, expanded and paved the main entrance of the settlement. The paved road will be used also as security road around the settlement.

15 October: One store belonging to Palestinian trader from the old city of Hebron was burned down when settlers from the Israeli settlement of Avraham Avinu settlement set fire to it. Due to the strict closures in place in the Old City by the IDF it took the Palestinian fire department three hours to reach the site.

16 October: Three settlers from the Israeli settlement of Ma'on, Hebron, attacked a flock of sheep near the Palestinian village of At Tuwani killing one animal and wounding another.

7. Olive Harvest

• 12 October: A group of Israeli settlers from Elkana settlement prevented Palestinian farmers from Mas-ha and Az Zawiya villages, Salfit, from picking olives from their land located inside the settlement fence.

12, 13, 17 and 18 October: Barrier gates in the northern West Bank were closed due to the Jewish holidays. Palestinian farmers were not able to reach there olive groves for the olive harvest during these periods.

17 October: A group of settlers from Elon More settlement set fire to olive trees near Salim village, Nablus, and damaged some trees.