P.O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem

Phone: (972) 2 – 5829962 / 5825853, Fax: (972) 2 – 5825841,

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes

Update for oPt (26 May – 01 June 2004)

INSIDEINSIDE:   Casualties — Incidents involving ambulances — Curfew — House demolition/Demolition orders/People displaced — Land levelling/confiscation — Checkpoints/roadblocks/Barrier/restrictions on movement — Education — Labour movement to Israel — Other —  Appendix

1.  Casualties

Palestinians: 11 deaths, 22 injured
Israelis:  1 death, 4 injured

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

2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams

Denial of access: 1 incident

Delay (1 – 2.45 hours): 10 incidents

Damage to Ambulance: 2 incidents

Detention of medical crew:  1 incident

Sources:  FCU, PRCS,  UHCC

3. Curfews

Curfews were reported in the following locations:


4. House demolitions/Demolition Orders/People Displaced

About 1,300 people who lost their house in the most recent house destruction campaign are still living in the three UNRWA transit centres in Rafah.
28 May:  IDF forced 17 refugee families living south of the Palestinian Flour Mills in Al Qarara area north of Khan Yunis to leave their shelters.  The affected families are being housed in an UNRWA school.

Sources:  OCHA FCU, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, PCHR, MSA

5. Land levelling/confiscation1

West Bank:

According to Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre, the Israeli High Court last week ruled in favor of the confiscation of some 3,000 dunums of land located near As Zawiya, Rafat and Deir Ballout in Salfit district to allow the IDF legally to proceed with the construction of the barrier further south of Masha.
25 May:  The municipality of Beituniya, Ramallah district has received new confiscation orders affecting 68.7 dunums because of a change in the Barrier's route.
27 May:  The Barrier construction in Shuqba, Ramallah district has been halted for a week pending an Israeli high court decision.
28 May:  The IDF issued two new military orders (04/45/T and 04/56/T) for the confiscation of land in Salfit district.  A total of 267.4 dunums of land were confiscated between the Salfit town and Ariel settlement, and a total of 4.5 dunums were confiscated in Masha near the settlement of Elkana.  As for the military order in Masha, the DCL in Qalqilya confirms that this confiscation will serve the purpose for further construction of the Barrier.  The DCL was not able to ascertain the reason for the other one.
Marked pegs, believed by locals to be for the preparations for the Barrier, have been placed in areas around Ar Ram.
30 May:  The Land Research Centre in Bethlehem reported the uprooting of vineyards by settlers in the area of Al Khader, Ein Al Kassis.


27 May:  4 dunums of olive trees were levelled next to Salah Ed-Din road in Gaza middle area south of Netzarim.
26 May:  150 dunums of almond, citrus and olive trees were uprooted in the area north of Sofa crossing in Khan Yunis.
31 May:  10 dunums of olive trees were uprooted in area south east of Karni – Netzarim road in Gaza City.
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. However, the earth mound established some weeks ago between Kafr Dirk and Bruqin villages was removed over the weekend.
No major incidents have been reported in regard to the barrier gates; however significant delays in the opening hours continue to exist at Azzun Atma, Habla, Ras Tira and Jayyous south gates in Qalqilya governorate.
Movement restrictions into Israel across the "Green Line" is still imposed despite the increase in the traders' permits number.

Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates:

IDF enhanced the trench around Salem, Deir Al Hatab and 'Azmout villages east of Nablus.
26 May:  Flying checkpoints were erected at the entrances of Ya'bad town.
26 May:  IDF closed the main water pump in Ya'bad.  Access for water tankers entering the town on this day was denied access by the flying checkpoints at the entrances of the village.
Major delays occurred at checkpoints around Nablus, especially students and young people.
29 and 30 May:  Huwwara checkpoint was closed for Palestinians.

Ramallah/al-Bireh/Beituniya governorates:

25 May:   IDF has opened the main entrance to Abud, however earth mounds have been erected at the entrance to the secondary access road.
23 May:  The IDF searched cars and IDs throughout the day at Atara partial checkpoint, long delays were experienced.

Jerusalem/Jericho governorates:

Numerous flying checkpoints were established inside and around Jerusalem city during the week.
28 May:  Palestinian males under the age of 45 were denied entrance to Al Aqsa Mosque by Israeli Security forces.
27 – 31 May:  Following a prisoner escape inside Jericho, the IDF closed down Jericho City.  Only Internationals were allowed access in and out.  The commercial back-to-back checkpoint was also closed.  From 01 June, the checkpoint was opened for residents of Jericho with permits.  Palestinians with Jerusalem or West Bank ID cards are not allowed access.  The back-to-back checkpoint was also reopened on 01 June.
Construction of the Barrier in Jerusalem district is ongoing in An Nu'man, Ash Sheikh Sa'ad, Sur Baher, Sawahriya ash Sharqiya, Abu Dis and Al 'Eizariya, Biddu, Beit Duqqu, Bet Ijza, Al Qubeiba, Qatanna, Qalandiya airport and Ar Ram/Dahiyat Al Barid (Al Akbat).

Bethlehem/Hebron governorates:

22 May – 1 June:  Access Hebron city was restricted at the checkpoint of Ras Al Joura as the bridge crossing between Hebron and Halhul remained closed for most of the time.
28 – 30 May:  an IDF flying checkpoint was established on the road leading from route 60 to the Beit Jala DCO.
25 May – 1 June:  UNRWA reported the closure of Bethlehem for the whole week.  Random IDF patrols monitored and checked the transit at Al Khadr.
28 – 31 May:  the Border police have set up a flying checkpoint at the entrance of Ar Ramadin, in 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.  Due to the closure of the Hebron – Halhul bridge and the random checks by the IDF at the Nabi Yunis crossing, buses have stopped travelling at the closed intersection with Halhul on road 60.

2For a reference West Bank checkpoint map please see the following link: 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.
On 28 and 29 May:  The gate was completely closed.

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 10 May:  People aged below 30 years, required to have prior coordination to move through Al Toffah checkpoint.
01 June:  Al Toufah checkpoint was closed for people meanwhile open for vegetable transport.

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

26 May:  IDF closed Ezzedin Al Qassam secondary school in Ya'bad town (Jenin).
27 May:  Schools in Bet Enan were closed when the IDF imposed curfew resulting in delays for final exams scheduled to take place that day.
Teachers from Nablus/Tubas areas, working in Jericho, continue to face difficulties and harassment on the checkpoints north and northwest of the Jordan Valley (e.g. Tayasir and Hamra).  Since 27 May, the Palestinian DCL in Jericho needs to coordinate on a daily basis with the Israeli DCL access for teachers.

8. Labour movement to Israel

West Bank:

According to Palestinian DCL, additional 10 trade permits were issued during the week in Tulkarm governorate.  None have been issued for Qalqilya and Salfit.  The total number of trade permits for all three governorates/district is currently at 970 (Tulkarm: 480, Qalqilya: 300 and Salfit: 190).  No new or renewed work permits issued for work in Israel.
No work permits issued to Jericho for the period mid May to mid June.
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.
No work permits were issued in both districts for the period mid May to mid June.
47 trade permits in Hebron and 90 trade permits were issued during May.


Since 22 March 2004, the 11,429 workers holding valid work permits were not allowed to cross to Israel.  However, a handful of traders aged 35 and above were started to be allowed to cross on May 31st.  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.  On 31 May Erez Industrial Zone was reopened for some Palestinian workers aged 30 and above:


9.  Other:

28, 30 and 31 May:  IDF occupied approximately 15 houses inside Nablus city using them for observation points.


Appendix: Checkpoints Status 26 May – 01 June 2004