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 (31March – 06 April 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: 11 deaths, 71 injured
Israelis: 1 death, 1 injured
2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams
Denial of access: 5 incidents
Delay (up to 2 hours): 5 incidents
Shooting/Damage to Ambulance: 1 incident
Curfews were reported in the following locations: Tulkarm, Tulkarm Refugee Camp and Nur Shams Refugee Camp (2 days), Nablus City, Araba, al Khadr ad Sider (1 day)
4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders
• 02 April: an UNRWA house was damaged in Rafah when several bullets hit the roof and walls of the compound.
5. Land levelling/confiscation1
• 01 April: Settlers from the settlement of Efrat cut fruit and grape trees and destroyed the fences in 4 dunums of land near the eastern side of the settlement in the area of Al Khadr, Bethlehem District.
• 05 April: 7 dunums of olive trees have been levelled in Al Shouka Area to the east of Rafah.
6. Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Barrier/Restrictions on movement
• The last week continued to see a relative relaxation in the movement in Qalqilya governorate.
• In both governorates there was increase in the number of flying checkpoints on 3-4 April. IDF announced the whole West Bank under closure until 26 April. The closure has been put into effect in Tulkarm, allowing only medical staff, teachers/students and official employees. All permits into Israel are suspended.
• Construction of the tunnel between Habla and Qalqilya town is ongoing.
• Opening statistics of Barrier gates are listed below in the table. The announced opening hours of the agricultural gates have not been strictly adhered to by the IDF. There were frequent delays.
• 01 April: Two flying checkpoints were erected at the eastern and western entrances of Kuful Raái village south of Jenin.
• 03 April: All the checkpoints leading to Nablus city were totally closed.
• The Israeli High Court of Justice has renewed the suspension order on the Barrier construction in Kharbatha Bani Harith.
• IDF and Border Police are establishing a checkpoint on a daily basis in the underpass below route 443 on the road that connects the village with Beir Ur at Tahta. This access road is now the only route to Ramallah for all the villages south of route 443 in the Beit Liqya area and the Qattana cluster.
• The checkpoint at the entrance to Rantis village was lifted.
• 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. The Barrier is in the form of 8m concrete slabs, which 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 Barrier is in the form of 8m concrete slabs.
• The construction of the Barrier ongoing opposite az Za'yem Checkpoint with land levelling east of the valley towards Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
• Levelling east of the valley towards Ma'ale Adumim settlement.
• Land levelling for the construction of the Barrier in the north western villages of Beit Surik, Biddu Beit Duqqu and Bet Ijza is on halt due to the Israeli High Court issued on 18 March.
• Land levelling for the construction of the Barrier is continuing in the north western village of Beit Duqqu.
• Work continues in front of the Aida refugee camp to erect a concrete wall.
• The area of Yatta is now accessible as the gates at the Fawwar-Dura crossing and the earth mound on the Fawwar side has been removed.
• 31 March: The IDF erected a new gate at the Jalajel entrance of Bani Na'im, Hebron district.
• 01 April: The IDF opened the entrance of Al Fawwar Camp, the main gateway to the area of Yatta, Hebron District.
• 01 April: IDF closed the entrance of An Nu'man village, Bethelehem District; access is no longer possible on the main asphalted road.
• 03 April: IDF erected a military observation tower at the Ras Al-Joura CP, Hebron District.
• 5 April: IDF erected a military observation tower in front of Khirbet Ad Duwwara east of the bypass road 60 after the junction of Beit 'Einun, Hebron 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. Buses were prevented to cross Bush Etzion CP from 02 to 04 of April; drivers faced problems in collecting passengers at Al Khadr junction due to flying checkpoints set up there several times during the reporting period. Buses heading to Jericho have been prevented to cross Noqedim CP from 01 to 03 of April and experienced long queues the rest of the week. No buses were allowed to cross the "Container", checkpoint during this week as it remained closed since 22 of March.
• 04 April: IDF installed a new electronic yellow gate at the northern end of Abu Houli checkpoint, with vehicle movement now being diverted to the west about 50 meters from the northern IDF observation tower.
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 16.00. 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 28 January 2004, IDF started to allow women to get in and out of As-Seafa but movement is subject to body search and with 24 hours prior coordination. On 14 March 2004, magnetic cards were issued to 92 of the male residents aged 12 to 70 years.
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.
• 31 March: Tel Es-Sultan checkpoint was closed but Toufah checkpoint was open for residents leaving Al Mawassi.
• Since 01 April: Tel Es-Sultan checkpoint was closed by Toufah checkpoint was open for residents leaving Al Mawassi. With prior coordination, Al Mawasi people can return to their houses through Toufah checkpoint.
• 06 April: both Tal As-Sultan and At-Toffah checkpoints completely closed.
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.
• Tulkarm/Qalqiliya: The total movement restrictions that were imposed following the attack in Avne Khefets settlement on 3 April affected the school children from Jbara since the bus that transports the children to the schools in the neighbouring villages were not allowed to operate that day. Furthermore, long delays at the Kafriat checkpoint resulted in children missing the early morning classes. No agreement reached between the village leader of Jbara and the IDF negotiations to reopen the student's gate.
• Nablus: 03 April: All the schools in Nablus City were closed due to curfew.
• Ramallah: According to the Kharbatha Al Misbah village council, the harassment of university students at the flying checkpoint in the underpass near the village of has a negative impact and may discourage students from continuing their studies in Bir Zeit and Ramallah.
8. Labour movement to Israel
• Tulkarm/Qalqilya: All work and trade permits have been suspended since 22 March until further notice.
Some 11,519 workersare holding valid permits to cross Israel but, 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. However no workers have been allowed to cross into Israel.
Approximately 3,300 workers are able to cross into the Erez Industrial Zone, representing about 67% of a total of 5,003 workers with valid permits.
Appendix: Checkpoints Status 31 March – 06 April 2004