OPT: Protection of civilians – OCHA Weekly report (12-18 September 2007)

Of note this week

Gaza Strip:

· The IDF injured two Palestinians during the reporting period.

· 18 Qassam rocket and 19 mortars were fired towards Israel, of which one Qassam and two mortars landed in the Palestinian area. One Israeli air strike took place on 13 September that did not result in casualties.

· On 13, 14 and 15 September, all Gaza crossings were completely closed for the Jewish holidays. However, extremely urgent cases were allowed entry into Israel as stated by the Israeli DCL.

· 14 September: The Egyptian security forces detonated a tunnel located opposite Al Shouka area. Six Palestinians who were working in the tunnel were arrested.

· 17 September: The IDF authorised the PA Civil Affairs Office to set up a caravan at the old Palestinian DCL site (Khamsa Khamsa) that will replace the old Palestinian passport control and will operate from 0700 hours to 1900 hours. The procedures will be the same as previously.

West Bank:

· During the reporting period, the IDF killed five Palestinians, including two children, and injured eight others. One IDF soldier was killed. Five IDF soldiers and two Israeli settlers were injured.

· 78 IDF search campaigns, 54 arrests, and 102 flying checkpoints were reported.

· 12-16 September: Israel imposed a general closure on the West Bank due to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana. All Palestinians, including holders of valid permits, were prevented from passing through all the checkpoints leading to East Jerusalem and Israel. 14 September marked the first Friday of Ramadan; this year marked the introduction of a new “prayer permit” for men between 45 and 50 years of age and women between 40 and 45 years of age. There was, however, an overnight change in regulations that ultimately allowed only men and women above 60 to pass in order to perform Friday prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque.

· 13 September to date: The IDF extended the opening hours at all the checkpoints around Nablus City until 2400 hours during the month of Ramadan.

· 13 September: The IDF prevented Muslim worshippers from accessing the Ibrahimi Mosque in the H2 area of Hebron City but made it accessible to Jewish worshippers celebrating the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana.

· 15 September: Palestinians and peace activists held a demonstration near the western entrance to Sarra village and tried to remove the road blocks closing the entrance (Nablus).

· 18 September: The IDF issued a military order (T/29/07) to confiscate 312 dunums and 900 meters from the lands of the villages of Al Khader and Artas for Barrier construction (Bethlehem).




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