OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes – OPT (19 – 25 May 2004) – OCHA report


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OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes

Update for oPt (19 – 25 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

1.  Casualties

Palestinians: 36 deaths, 121 injured
Israelis:  0 deaths, 3 injured

Sources:  OCHA FCU, PRCS, IDF website, Israeli MoFA

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

Denial of access: 15 incidents (mainly in al Zaitoun area and Rafah)

Delay (up to 120 hours): 8 incidents

Shooting/Shelling/Damage to Ambulance: 5 incidents

Sources:  OCHA FCU, PRCS,  MoH

3. Curfews

Over the reporting period, Tel As-Sultan, As Salam and Al Barazil areas in Rafah were placed under siege.  On 24 May, siege on Al Sultan area was lifted and on 25 May, siege on Al Barazil area was lifted.

Curfews were reported in the following locations:

Sources:  OCHA FCU, PRCS, MoH

4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders

From 19 May until 23 May:   a total of 117 buildings demolished and 50 partially demolished in the Tel Sultan, Brazil and Salam quarters of Rafah were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.  As a result 379 families (2066 people) made homeless.
At least 1,000 people sought shelter at 2 UNRWA schools which have been transferred by UNRWA into a shelter home for people made homeless in Rafah.
18 May:  Demolition orders were issued in Hizma for two houses due to lack of building permit.

5. Land levelling/confiscation1

West Bank:

25 May:  The IDF distributed military orders to confiscate 480 dunums of lands in the areas of Beit Baer, Beit Awa, A-Sika, Al-Majd, and Um Shukaf in the south-western part of Hebron district.
A copy of military order T/02/04 (a map attached to it), which was issued by IDF on 11 May was provided to local municipalities during the week to seize and control approximately 380 dunum of land stretching from the group of villages known as At Ta'mir, south east of Bethlehem, through Bethlehem and Beit Sahur.  It appears from the map annex that the area will be used for the construction of a new bypass road linking the Israeli settlements in the east of the district (Teqoa, Ma'ale Amos) to the municipality of Jerusalem.


19 May:  An IDF bulldozer levelled 20 dunums of cultivated land northern East part of Rafah next to Morag settlement.
21 May:  IDF bulldozers destroyed 25 green houses and uprooted olive trees in Zurub area west of the Rafah Refugee Camp.
Sources:  OCHA FCU

1 4 dunums = 1 acre

6. Closure2/Restrictions on movement

Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates:

The general movement across the checkpoints in the governorates of Tulkarm and Qalqilya has been relatively relaxed with no additional restrictions.  In Salfit district, movement between the villages is still hampered by a variety of closures, blocking the main roads.
Flying checkpoints were established occasionally, and one in particular between Ba'la junction and Anabta causing major delays in the movement.  Movement into Israel across the "Green Line" is still imposed despite the increase in the traders' permits number.
No major incidents reported regarding the barrier gates apart from long delays reported at Azzun Atma, Habla and Jayyous south.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:

Major delays occurred at checkpoints around Nablus, especially students and young people.
19 May:  Flying checkpoints were erected at the entrances of Araba, Jaba'a, Al Zababda and the southern entrance of Jenin city.
22 May:  Flying checkpoints were established in the eastern parts of Nablus city.
22 May:  Around 12:00 IDF closed Tayasir, Maala Efrayim and Hamra checkpoints in the Jordan Valley for Palestinians following a suicide attack at Hamra checkpoint on the same day, and the closure continued over the next day.

Ramallah/al-Bireh/Beituniya governorates:

18 and 21 May:  The IDF closed Qalandiya checkpoint for two hours after clashes erupted between IDF and children throwing stones.
23 May:  The IDF searched cars and IDs throughout the day at Atara partial checkpoint, long delays were experienced.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:

21 May:  Palestinian males under the age of 45 were denied entrance to Al Aqsa Mosque by Israeli Security forces.
20 and 23 May:  Several flying checkpoints were established around Jerusalem, causing delays of traffic.
Ongoing replacement of 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.

Bethlehem/Hebron governorates:

22 – 25 May: The urban salient of Beit Jala, Beit Sahur and Bethlehem in Bethlehem district was placed under closure with IDF units monitoring transit within the area at Al Khader, Sidr, Beit Jala; Noqedim checkpoint was closed on Sunday for vehicular transit.  An additional IDF checkpoint was set up on the road leading from route 60 to the area of Beit Jala which remains to date in place.  Access to Bethlehem via Gilo, Wadi Nar ("Container") and Noqedim CPs improved by 25 May.
Palestinians using public transport only can travel between Hebron and Bethlehem districts using bypass roads, and internally via Beit Fajjar for Palestinian-plated vehicles.  Passage through Wadi Sa'ir (route 356) remains closed.


IDF set up a new military observation tower south of the road of Kissufim, west of Hill number 86 in the area of Al Qarara in Khan Younis.

2For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please see the following link:  http://www.reliefweb.int/hic-opt/maps/Closure/mar/checkpoints march 04.pdf

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.

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 Tuffah checkpoint.
19 May:  At Tuffah checkpoint was 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 20/7/2002 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.


7. Education

20 May:  At around 14.00 while children were leaving a primary school at Al Sharafeh neighborhood, the IDF start shooting in the air and scaring the children by speeding in their jeep.
Teachers from Tubas and Nablus districts working in Jericho have repeatedly been harassed, delayed and sometimes denied access at the Tayasir and Hamra checkpoints.

19 May:  Al Mansur School in Yatta was surrounded by IDF during an incursion aimed at arresting an alleged Palestinian militant.  All schoolchildren were sent home.
23 May:  The IDF entered the UNRWA Basic Boys and Girls school in Fawwar camp with four pupils injured in confrontations in the camp.
During the reporting period, due to the IDF incursion in Rafah, no UNRWA school or PA school was functioning.
IDF troops caused damage to UNRWA Rafah Elementary School, a big hole in the eastern boundary wall was reported damaged as well as the main water pipes, doors, school records, teaching were destroyed.

8. Labour movement to Israel

West Bank:

A total of 140 trader permits were issued over the course of the week for both Tulkarm and Qalqilya (70 in each governorate).  Still, no new or renewed work permits issued into Israel.
No work permits have been issued to Jericho since mid May.
The total quota number for commercial trade permits to the municipality is 300.  This month – from May 09 to 08 June – a total number of 91 out of a request for 110 permits were approved.


11,429 workers holding valid work permits were not allowed to cross to Israel due to the closure imposed since 22 March 2004. Erez industrial estate was subsequently closed on 17 April 2004; as a result the 2,149 workers with valid permits could not reach their jobs.
24 May:  77 Palestinian business owners were allowed to enter Erez industrial zone.


9.  Other:

Jericho:  Settlers from the settlement of Yatif have lately harassed, hindered farmers access to their fields, as well as killing parts of the farmers livestock.  Verbal threats as well as shooting in the air to scare locals away were reported.
19 May:  IDF re-allowed the Gaza fishermen to resume fishing after one week of full closure.
20 May:  In the early morning hours IDF entered Jenin refugee camp and Jenin city, conducted search campaign.  During the campaign IDF entered UNRWA field office in Jenin camp and held an UNRWA official for several hours.


Appendix: Checkpoints Status 19 – 25 May 2004


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