Impact of first phase of security barrier on UNRWA-registered refugees – UNRWA report


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The impact of the first phase of security barrier on UNRWA-registered refugees


Overview
 

First Phase: 

On 31 July, the Israeli Ministry of Defence announced the completion of the first phase of the security barrier, officially launched on 16 June 2002.(1) The first stage comprises a 123-kilometre-long-section extending from Salem checkpoint in the northwest Jenin district, through the Tulkarm and Qalqilya governorates, to Masha village in the Salfit area. In practice, work is still continuing on the southern section of this phase: the pedestrian and agricultural gates are being installed and the electronic "smart fence", the central component of the system, has yet to become operational. The subsidiary barriers, including deep trenches or "depth barriers" have yet to be built, although construction of the depth barrier around Tulkarm appears to be imminent.(2) 

Another stage, approximately 20 kilometres of the "Jerusalem envelope", has been constructed: in the north four kilometres from Kalandia checkpoint to Opher military camp in the Ramallah area, and the rest from Gilo settlement to Beit Sahur in the Bethlehem area. As work is still ongoing it is difficult to gauge the likely effects of this phase, particularly as residents of these areas already have to pass through the Kalandia and Gilo checkpoints to enter Jerusalem. Affected areas in the northern Jerusalem area include A-Ram, Kalandia, Kufr Aqab, El-Bira and Rafat, and the barrier will eventually extend to the Jaba junction. Kalandia camp residents will end up on the "Palestinian" side of the barrier: according to PENGON, "the northern Jerusalem Wall is isolating 15,000 Jerusalem ID holders, living in Kufr Aqab and Qalandiya Refugee Camp from the city, their familial and social ties, and public services."(3) Conversely, Abu Dis, el-Azariya, Anata, Hizma and Beit Iksa will lie on the "Israeli side" of the barrier.(4) Although the US administration has objected to the inclusion of Palestinian areas within the "Jerusalem envelope" it appears that the Israeli authorities are prepared to disregard these objections.(5) 

In the Bethlehem area, part of the barrier has been constructed from the Gilo tunnel on Route 60, past Aida Camp, Rachel's Tomb and Har Homa settlement to Route 356 past Beit Sahur. The new checkpoint/gate for Bethlehem will be 200 metres south of the current Gilo checkpoint and the route of the barrier around Rachel's Tomb will leave approximately 500 Bethlehem residents on the "Jerusalem side".(6) The barrier will closely abut Aida camp and three houses in the camp will also be isolated on the "Israeli side".(7) 

A 40-kilometre section is currently underway in the northern Jenin district from Salem checkpoint to Jalbun, to be complete by 31 December 2003. Here the barrier appears to closely follow the Green Line, although constructed entirely within the West Bank. The overall impact is as yet unclear, but may be less detrimental to the Palestinian communities concerned than in other phases.

Future Phases: 

The second phase will continue the barrier from the village of Masha in the southern Qalqilya district to join up with the northern Jerusalem section at Ofer Camp near Ramallah. Plans adopted some months ago by Prime Minister Sharon and Defence Minister Mofaz, included a massive detour eastwards to bring the settlements of Ariel, Qedumim and Emmanuel on the 'Israeli side' of the fence. This would have doubled the length of the original route – roughly corresponding to the Green Line – from 110 to 210 kilometres.(8) The US administration's strong objections to these indents – including, most recently, threats to deduct the cost of the settlement diversions from the US$ 9 billion loan guarantees — has apparently resulted in a revision of this plan. The alternative route, which will avoid encircling Ariel and the other settlements, the will not some 160 kilometres from Masha to Ofer Camp, and may be presented for formal approval by the Israeli cabinet as early as 17 August.(9) However, while this route will adhere closer to the Green Line than the previous plan, it is expected that an unknown number of Palestinian enclaves will be created west of the barrier.

There are plans to extend the barrier from the Bethlehem area to Arad south of Hebron, a distance of some 120 kilometres, although the planning, route, budget and completion date for this section are still vague.

Although the scheme has not been formally approved by the cabinet, it appears that Prime Minister Sharon and Defence Minister Mofaz have also planned an additional barrier down the Jordan Valley.(10) Planning for this stage is apparently well-advanced, with the barrier continuing on from the northern section currently under construction from Salem to Jalbun.(11) The barrier will then run to the settlement of Maale Ephraim, from where it will continue southward, to the northern Dead Sea area. The eastern barrier will not be entirely made up of a fence, but some of it will be based on a natural cliff that descends into the Jordan Valley, along with ditches in several places. According to Ma'ariv the length of the entire barrier, east and west, will eventually extend between 800 and 900 kilometres. The estimated cost of construction is estimated at NIS 10 million per kilometre of fence, so that the entire project is expected to cost between NIS 8-9 billion.

Impact of first Phase 

Note: The statistics and tables below refer to the completed 123-kilometre section which traverses the Jenin, Tulkarm and Qalqilya governorates. A clear overview and detailed maps of the affected regions are available from OCHA: The West Bank Wall: Humanitarian Status Report — Northern West Bank Trajectory, July 2003. Available on www.reliefweb.int/hic-opt. OCHA has also prepared the map which accompanies this report. Population statistics are based on mid-2003 projections of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) 1997 census figures; refugee family numbers are from the Relief and Social Services Department in UNRWA West Bank Field Office. The UNRWA official estimate for the average West Bank refugee family is five persons. 

The construction of phase one of the "separation fence" will have as yet undetermined impact on approximately 60 towns, villages, "khirbets" and refugee camps.

Most affected will be 14 communities completely isolated between the barrier and the Green Line, numbering 13,636 Palestinians, including 374 refugee families, or 1,870 individuals.

Because of the creation of "depth barriers" and the winding nature of the security barrier itself, additional enclaves will be created to the east of the barrier: 15 communities will be affected, numbering approximately 138,593 Palestinians, including 13,450 refugee families, or 67,250 individuals.

In addition, an undetermined number of communities will be impacted by the wall to a greater or lesser degree — losing land, irrigation networks or infrastructure in the construction and experiencing access problems once the construction is complete. At least 33 communities will be affected, numbering 69,019 Palestinians, including 1,467 refugee families, or 7,335 families.

In total, over 220,000 people will be affected to some degree, including 15,291 refugee families, or 76,455 individuals, representing one third of the total population.

Affected communities

# Communities

# Population

# Refugee Families

# Refugees

# refugee families

Enclaves west of barrier

14

13,636

374

1,870

374

Enclaves east of barrier

15

138,593

13,450

67,250

12,957

Other affected

33

69,019

1,467

7,335

1,462

Total

62

221,248

15,291

76,455

14,793

A) Palestinian enclaves west of the barrier (isolated between barrier and Green Line): 

These are grouped in five distinct clusters: (see attached map). The total population is 13,636 Palestinians, including 374 refugee families, or 1,870 individuals.

1. Jenin area: This enclave contains five communities; most affected will be Barta'a esh-Sharqiya which is divided from Barta'a Gharbiya on the Israeli side of the Green Line by a narrow valley. It is believed that a fence will be placed down this valley to separate the two Barta'as. The combined population is 4,301 and includes at least 150 refugee families, numbering 750 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

1

Umm ar Rihan

Jenin

353

0

No

No

2

Khirbet 'Abdallah al Yunis

Jenin

133

?

No

No

3

Dhaher Al Malih

Jenin

205

0

No

No

4

Barta'a Sharqiya

Jenin

3,404

150

2 (PA)

1 (PA)

5

Khirbet Sheikh Saed

Jenin

206

?

No

No

Total

Jenin

4,301

150

2

1

2. Northern Tulkarm area: Here the barrier will create the largest enclave of Palestinian communities west of the barrier, Baqa Sharqiya, Nazlat Issa and Nazlat Abu Nar. Baqa has strong family and social ties with Baqa Gharbiya which is on the Israeli side of the Green Line; the barrier will not reunite the towns as an additional fence is planned to cut Baqa Sharqiya off from its sister town and from the Green Line. The combined population is approximately 6,420 and includes 200 refugee families, with some 1,000 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

6

Nazlat Abu Nar

Tulkarm

185

10

No

No

7

Baqa ash Sharqiya

Tulkarm

3,869

140

4 (PA)

1 (PA)

8

Nazlat 'Isa

Tulkarm

2,366

50

No

1 (PA)

Total

Tulkarm

6,420

200

4

2

3. Southern Tulkarm area: Khirbet Jabara will be isolated in an enclave of its own. Population 309, which includes eight refugee families or some 40 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

9

Khirbet Jabara

Tulkarm

309

8

No

No

Total

Tulkarm

309

8

4. Qalqilya area: The 'khirbets' or small villages of Ras Tira, Dab'a, Wad Rasha and Arab a-Ramadeen will be completely isolated within the Alfei Menashe settlement enclave and cut off from Hable, Ras Atiya and Kfar Thult, on which they rely for services. There are no educational or health services in these 'khirbets', except for a PA elementary school in Dab'a and they are not connected to the water or electricity network. A road is currently being built to allow them access — with permits — through the Alfei Menashe industrial estate to Qalqilya. The combined population is 1,051, which includes 10 refugee families, or 50 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

10

'Arab ar Ramadeen al Janubi

Qalqilya

181

No

No

No

11

Ras at Tira

Qalqilya

369

No

No

No

12

Ad Dab'a

Qalqilya

251

No

1 (PA)

No

13

Wad Ar Rasha

Qalqilya

200

10

No

No

Total

Qalqilya

1,051

10

1

5. Southern Qalqilya area: In the southern Qalqilya district, the settlement block of Oranit, Elkana, Sharei Tikva and Ets Efrayim will lie to the west of the barrier. Sharei Tikva, which stretches for a distance of 2.5 kilometres, severs the territorial contiguity between the villages of Azun Atme, Beit Amin and Saniriya. Azun Atme, the most southerly village in the Qalqilya district, which will be completely encircled in its own enclave to the west of the barrier, to protect the four settlements. The population is 1,555 which includes six refugee families or 30 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

14

Azun Atme

Qalqilya

1,555

6

2 (PA)

1 (PA)

Total

Qalqilya

1,555

6

2

1

B) Palestinian enclaves east of the barrier: 

Because of the creation of "depth barriers", additional barriers and the winding nature of the security barrier itself, additional enclaves will be created to the east of the barrier; these will be grouped in four distinct clusters, (see attached map). Fifteen communities will be affected, numbering 138,593 Palestinians, including 13,450 refugee families, or 67,250 individuals.

1. Jenin area: A "depth barrier" or "deep trench" will be constructed in the northwest Jenin district, running from Salem to Araqa villages, to encircle Rumane, Khirbet Taibe, and Anin villages. Rumane has a majority refugee population and contains an UNRWA co-educational school in the village. The combined population is approximately 8,954 and includes 655 refugee families, or 3,275 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

1

Rumane

Jenin

3,186

313

UNRWA

No

2

Taibe

Jenin

2,254

288

?

1

3

Anin

Jenin

3,514

54

?

1

Total

Jenin

8,954

655

1?

2

2. Tulkarm area: In addition to a concrete wall which will be erected to the west of the town, a "depth barrier" or "deep trench" 9,845 metres long and 24 metres wide will be excavated to the east. This trench will run north 1,200 metres east past Nur Shams camp and south to Faroun, encircling Iktaba, Dhinnaba , Kafa and Izbat Shufa. Some 236 dunams of land will be lost by the actual construction of the barrier around Tulkarm while over 23,000 dunams will be included in the enclosed area. The combined population is 80,678 and includes 8,844 refugee families, or 44,220 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

4

Tulkarm town

Tulkarm

42,991

3,762

Yes

5

Tulkarm Camp

Tulkarm

15,600

3,120

3 UNRWA

1

6

Nur Shams Camp

Tulkarm

8,000

1,600

2 UNRWA

1

7

Iktaba

Tulkarm

1,868

40

No

8

Dhinnaba

Tulkarm

7,974

225

No

9

Faroun

Tulkarm

3,016

80

2

1

10

Kafa

Tulkarm

329

7

No

11

Shufa

Tulkarm

900

10

No

Total

Tulkarm

80,678

8,844

7

3

3. Qalqilya town: Qalqilya will be completely sealed, surrounded on all sides by the barrier, with one exit near Nabi Elias on Route 55. Movement in and out of the town will be possible from the east only and the repercussions will be severe for residents of the nearby villages who rely on municipal services, including the UNRWA hospital. Since September 2000, the hospital has experienced a 40 percent decrease in its caseload, as refugees from outlying areas – who accounted for over half of the hospital's patients – were unable to enter Qalqilya. Qalqilya town has 41,616 inhabitants and 3,900 refugee families, or 19,500 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

12

Qalqilya town

Qalqilya

41,616

3,900

3 UNRWA

UNRWA Hospital

Total

Qalqilya

41,616

3,900

3

4. Southern Qalqilya area: The inclusion of Alfei Menashe west of the barrier will result in the creation of another enclave of Palestinian communities, hemmed in on three sides. The villages of Hable, Izbat Jal'ud and Ras Atiya will lose large tracts of their agricultural land and be cut off from direct access to Qalqilya town. According to B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organisation, once the barrier is complete, residents of Hable and Ras Atiya will have to travel twenty kilometres to reach Qalqilya town, assuming they are allowed to use Route 55, which will continue to be used as the main traffic artery for settlers. In Ras Atiya the barrier will pass within 10 metres to the north and east of the local PA school, a co-educational institution of 450 students. Sixty pupils and 20 out of 25 teachers are from outside Ras Atiya. The combined population is approximately 7,345 and includes 51 refugee families, or 255 individuals.

Locality

Govern-orate

Total Pop

Refugee families

Schools

Health centres

13

Hable

Qalqilya

5,725

44

2 (PA)

1

14

Ras Atiya

Qalqilya

1,488

1

1 (PA)

1

15

Izbat Jalud

Qalqilya

132

6

No

No

Total

Qalqilya

7,345

51

3

2

C) Other communities affected by the barrier: 

In addition, an undetermined number of communities will be impacted by the wall to a greater or lesser degree — losing land, irrigation networks or infrastructure in the construction and experiencing access problems once the construction is complete. At least 33 communities will be affected, numbering approximately 69,019 Palestinians, including 1,467 refugee families or 7,335 individuals.

Locality

Governor-ate

Pop

Refugee Families

1

Zububa

Jenin

2,007

243

2

Tannik

Jenin

1,035

34

3

Zabda

Jenin

785

19

4

Dhaher al 'Abed

Jenin

351

10

5

Al Khuljan

Jenin

460

0

6

Umm Dar

Jenin

551

0

7

Nazlat ash Sheikh Zeid

Jenin

689

2

8

Tura

Jenin

1,219

20

9

Al 'Araqa

Jenin

2,007

25

10

'Akkaba

Tulkarm

247

13

11

Qaffin

Tulkarm

8,263

107

12

An Nazla al Gharbiya

Tulkarm

837

5

13

An Nazla al Wusta

Tulkarm

393

40

14

Deir al Ghusun

Tulkarm

8,942

117

15

'Attil

Tulkarm

9,831

330

16

'Illar

Tulkarm

6,503

70

17

Zeita

Tulkarm

2,971

120

18

Al Jarushiya

Tulkarm

857

25

19

Kafr Jammal

Tulkarm

2,415

21

20

Kafr Sur

Tulkarm

1,185

12

21

Ar Ras

Tulkarm

479

11

22

Sanniriya

Qalqilya

2,781

1

23

Beit Amin

Qalqilya

1,068

0

24

'Izbat Salman

Qalqilya

599

2

25

Al Mudawwar

Qalqilya

206

0

26

Izbat Al Ashqar

Qalqiliya

389

?

27

Kafr Thulth

Qalqilya

4,062

27

28

'Isla

Qalqilya

825

0

29

'Izbat at Tabib

Qalqilya

196

18

30

An Nabi Elyas

Qalqilya

1,130

37

31

Jayyus

Qalqilya

3,078

23

32

Falamya

Qalqilya

658

5

33

Masha

Salfit

2,000

130

Total

69,019

1,467

FOOTNOTES: 

1. "Without Celebrations: First Stage of Separation Fence Inaugurated", Yediot Ahronoth, 1 August 2003.

2. Interview with residents of Jarushiya village, Tulkarm, 8,9 August 2003.

3. PENGON: The Wall in Palestine: Facts, Testimonies, Analysis and Call to Action, June 2003, p.63.

4. "Israel Considers Changing Separation Fence Route", Yediot Ahronoth, 7 July 2003.

5. "The Fence that will Unite Jerusalem", Ma'ariv, 12 August 2003.

6. PENGON: pp.68, 69.

7. PENGON: p.121.

8. "Ariel staying on the Palestinian Side", Ma'ariv, 4 August 2003.

9. "The Fence that will Unite Jerusalem", Ma'ariv, 12 August 2003.

10. B'Tselem update: The Separation Barrier: Phase One Completed – Hundreds of Thousands of Palestinians Directly Harmed, July 2003. According to David Levy, the head of the Jordan Valley Council, who has seen maps of the plan, "the fence will keep all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert under Israel's control, a 20-30 wide kilometre strip", "Fences and Facts", Yediot Ahronoth, 26 May 2003.

11. "Planning of Separation Fence in Jordan Valley Begins", Ma'ariv, 22 July 2003.



2019-03-12T17:37:04-04:00

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