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

14 – 20 September 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:

• The withdrawal of Israeli soldiers resulted in a major improvement in internal access throughout the Gaza Strip, in particular the enclaves of As Seafa, Al Mawasi, Al Ma’ani, Abu Nahia and Abu al Ajin.

1. Physical Protection1

Casualty Incidents:

16 September: The IDF fired tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinian, Israeli and Internationals activists demonstrating against the Barrier construction in Bil’in, Ramallah. Five Palestinians and four IDF soldiers were injured.
16 September: Israeli settlers from Tko’a injured a Palestinian from the village of Tuqu’ in Bethlehem Governorate. The settlers attacked the shepherd and his herd with stones, resulting in the death of two of his sheep.
16 September: Palestinians stoned an Israeli vehicle near al Funduq village, Qalqiliya. Three Israelis were injured.
17 September: A group of Palestinian youths from Budrus, Ramallah, stoned an IDF patrol during a search campaign and the IDF responded with rubber-coated metal bullets. One Palestinian and one IDF soldier were injured.
19 September: A female Israeli settler was injured in Huwwara village, Nablus, after Palestinians threw stones at her vehicle as it was moving in the village.

2. Shelter and Property

Incidents:
13 September (not reported previously): The Israeli Jerusalem municipality demolished one uninhabited house in Al ‘Isawiya, Jerusalem, stating that it was built without permit.
20 September: After their home was demolished in Beit Hanina (Jerusalem) in April 2005 for being built with a permit, a family of seven have been living in a caravan on the same location of the demolished house. On 20 September the Israeli Jerusalem municipality confiscated the caravan.

Other shelter/property related incidents:
15 September: The IDF occupied one house in Kafr Qaddum, Qalqiliya, and held the residents and some relatives (20 persons) in one room for approximately 6 hours during a search campaign.
14-20 September: The IDF occupied 4 inhabited houses in H2 area, Hebron city (home to 30 persons). In each house the soldiers held the residents in one room and restricted their movement.

3. Natural Resources

Land levelling/Requisitions/Tree Uprooting2

Nablus and Tubas Governorates:

• No incidents to report.

Jenin Governorate:

20 September: The IDF paved and surrounded with barbed wire an area of approximately 30 dunums (3.0 hectares) west of the Barrier near Dhaher al Malih village.

Tulkarm Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

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

Qalqiliya Governorate:

15 September: The Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that Israel must reconsider an alternative route for the Barrier around the Alfei Menashe settlement after a petition was submitted by the residents of five Palestinian villages located inside the closed area.

• Ongoing incidents:

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

Salfit Governorate:

14 September: The Palestinian DCL received two land requisition orders: T/163/05 for 23.5 dunums (2.35 hectares) in Bruqin and No 321/5729/1969 for 0.4 dunums (0.04 hectares) in Haris. Both requisition orders are for the purpose of erecting military observation towers.

• 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 village for Barrier construction.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Land levelling for Barrier construction continues between Budrus to the south of al Midya, and between Kharbatha Bani Harith, Bil’in and Saffa villages (all west Ramallah). Land levelling for Barrier construction 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:

15 September: IDF bulldozers started levelling agricultural land belonging to Palestinian farmers from H2 area, Hebron city, around the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba. The land is used for vineyards and provides the main source of income for six Palestinian families living in the area. According to a previous requisition order the land will be used to create a security road.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Land levelling for Barrier construction continues along the southern section of the Green Line, east of Shani settlement and on the western side of Idhna. Barrier construction has reached Al Burj village on the western side.

Bethlehem Governorate:

15 September: 31 fruit trees belonging to a Palestinian farmer from Khallet Zakariya were cut down adjacent to Alon Shvut settlement.

15 September: The IDF issued requisition order, T/157/05, for 21 dunums (2.1 hectares) of agricultural land belonging to Palestinian farmers from the towns of Al Khadr and Beit Jala. The land is to be used to expand the Tunnel checkpoint on Road No. 60.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Contractors for the construction of the Barrier fenced in the area around Khallet an Nu’man. The main road from Al Khas is open and the alternative road opened by the IDF remains difficult to access by car.
– Construction on Za’tara bypass is still taking place near Khallet an Nu’man; the bridge across Road No. 398 is now accessible.
– Land levelling and housing construction continues in the settlements of northern Efrat, western Neve Daniel, Giv’at Ha Tamar, El’azar, Har Gilo and Betar Illit

Jerusalem Governorate:

16 September: Israeli contractors carried out excavation work under Palestinian houses located near the Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem Old City.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Barrier construction 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 Bir Nabala planned enclave.

Jericho Governorate:

• No incidents to report.

The Gaza Strip:

18 September: IDF bulldozers supported by IDF armored vehicles entered approximately 200 metres into the Palestinian area east of Beit Hanoun near the border fence with Israel. The bulldozers started to establish what is believed to be a new buffer zone along the security fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

____________

1 Not included in the total for the reporting period.

2 4 dunums = 1 acre; 10 dunums = 1 hectare

4. Access for Medical Assistance

West Bank:

5. Access and Movement for Civilians

a) Curfew

16 September: The IDF announced curfew on Zububa village, Jenin, for 11 hours during a search campaign.

b) Access to Education

Hebron:

14- 20 September: Teachers coming from the Palestinian towns of Yatta and Samu’ were unable to reach Imneizil elementary school as IDF soldiers managing Beit Yatir checkpoint denied them access and detained them for several hours. The teachers had previously been denied entry at this checkpoint on 7 and 8 September 2005 for not holding the correct permits and the school was closed for these two days.

15 September: Teachers and students from Cordoba elementary school in the H2 area, Hebron city were attacked by group of settlers from the Israeli settlement of Beit Hadassah. The settlers threw stones and empty bottles towards the Palestinians.

• Ongoing incidents:

– The IDF continues to escort Palestinian students walking from Tuba to their school in At Tuwani, south Hebron Governorate. The escort is taking place to protect the students from potential attacks carried by Israeli settlers from Ma’on settlement.
– In order to avoid encountering the Israeli settlers along Road No. 317 students from the Palestinian communities of Susya, Qawawis and Mantiqat Shi'b al Batin in south Hebron continue to use tractors and trailers on dirt roads to reach their school in At Tuwani village.
– Children attending the Al Ibrahimmiyye primary school in the Old City of Hebron who approach it from the south have to pass through new metal detector gates set up by the IDF north of the Abu Rish Mosque.

c) Access to Employment

West Bank:

September

The Gaza Strip:

As of 9 September, the total number of Gaza Strip workers permits was 278 including 124 with overnight stay. All workers must be 35 or older and married with children. Overnight stay permits are only issued for workers aged 40 and older.

d) Closures/Movement restrictions

Israeli restrictions during the evacuation of four settlements in the northern West Bank continued to affect access for some Palestinians in the West Bank, particularly in Nablus and Jenin. Movement restrictions are still in place on Road No. 60 from Shave Shomeron settlement to Araba junction, on Road No. 585 from Araba junction to Quffin entrance and on the section of Road No. 60 from Kadim and Gamin settlements to Jalama Barrier gate.

Nablus Governorate:

17 September: The IDF withdrew from the Khomesh settlement as part of the Israeli disengagement plan.

21 August to date: All the entrances connecting Sabastiya village with Road No. 60 are blocked by earth mounds.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Shave Shomeron checkpoint remains closed. Jenin Governorate:

 20 September: The IDF withdrew from Sa Nur settlement as part of the Israeli disengagement plan.

21 August to date: The IDF closed all the entrances to Ya’bad village with road blocks and earth mounds. Only one alternative road is open towards Jenin city through Kufeirit village.

21 August to date: The IDF closed Road No. 585 from Arraba junction to Qaffin junction with three checkpoints preventing Palestinians from travelling on the road. Palestinians are using alternative dirt roads to reach Jenin city.

Tubas Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Palestinians holding crossing permits to the “Jericho area” are denied access at Tayasir checkpoint. Only Palestinians holding permits for the West Bank area are allowed to cross.

Tulkarm Governorate:

17 September: The IDF closed the Kafriat tunnel under Road No. 57 for several hours and prevented Palestinian vehicular movement between Tulkarm and the southern villages.

• 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.

Qalqiliya Governorate:

• No major incidents to report.

Salfit Governorate:

• No major incidents to report.

Ramallah / Al Bireh Governorate:

• Approximately 500 permits were issued to Christians from Ramallah to access Jerusalem for religious ceremonies in the city.

• Ongoing incidents:

– Temporary vehicular and pedestrian arrangements are now in place at Qalandiya checkpoint while construction of the new checkpoint continues. The main road through the old checkpoint is now closed. 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 Governorate:

• No major incidents to report.

Jericho Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– Palestinian West Bank residents from areas outside of the Jericho Governorate are denied access at Yitav checkpoint near Road No. 449, north of Jericho. Jericho residents can cross the checkpoint from south to north to go to Al Auja. Travel on Road No. 90 north of Al Auja is not allowed unless Palestinians have a special permit from the IDF. Residents from approximately five Palestinian villages in the north of Jericho District are allowed to travel on Road No. 90 north of Yitav checkpoint without a permit.

Hebron Governorate:

14 September: The IDF has constructed a new permanent checkpoint on the main entrance to the Palestinian village of Ar Ramadin. The IDF soldiers check and search Palestinians travelling to and from Palestinian villages around Ar Ramadin area (approximately 4,000 Palestinian residents). The checkpoint also restricts the movement of Palestinians and Arab Israelis on Road No. 325.

15 September: The IDF relocated concrete road blocks from the entrance of the New Al – Shallalah Street to the H1 – H2 area border on the same street. New road blocks were installed on the entrance of the Old Al – Shallalah Street in H2 area, Hebron city.

• Ongoing incidents:

– In Imneizil the construction of the Barrier continues close to the main road which leads to the village. Palestinians are still using alternative difficult and insecure roads to enter the village.
– The IDF continues to patrol the H1 area of Hebron city and perform random checks on Palestinians in violation of the Hebron Protocol.

Bethlehem Governorate:

• Ongoing incidents:

– The alternative secondary access road which was created by the IDF for the people from the village of An Nu’man has deteriorated and become difficult to use.

West Bank: Reported flying checkpoints

The Gaza Strip:

14 September: The IDF announced that Israeli citizens and people permanently residing in Israel, including Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs, are prohibited from entering the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.

6. Additional Protection Issues

15 September: Three armed Israeli settlers entered a Palestinian area near ‘Ein ad Duyuk, Jericho and were escorted out by the IDF after liaison through the Palestinian DCL.

19 September: A South African journalist was abducted in Gaza city. After a police chase the kidnappers pushed him out of the car and escaped.

Searches/Arrests/Detentions