OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26 Humanitarian Update for oPt (29 October – 04 November 2003) 1. Casualties Palestinians: Israelis:
4 deaths 43 injured 0 deaths 6 injured
2. Incidents involving ambulances and medical teams Denial of access: 8 incidents Delay (45 to 180 mins): 8 cases Attack/abuse of ambulances and staff: 2 incidents Damage/Shooting at ambulance: 2 incidents Detention patient (10 min): 1 • 29 October: Israeli Soldiers stopped a MoH ambulance transporting a 2-months sick child from Khan Younis to Shifa Hospital in Gaza at Abu Holi checkpoint searched it after ejecting its crew. • 30 October: An ambulance transporting a 2-year-old child in critical condition was stopped at Zaa’tar checkpoint. The soldiers detained the ambulance for 3 hours before allowing it to pass and badly damaged. The ambulance equipment during the search. (Source: MoH, PRCS) 3. Curfews Curfews were reported in the following locations: Hebron H1 area and areas close to settlements in H2, Tulkarm and Huwwara village (2 days), ‘Azzun (1day), 4. House demolitions Demolished: 1 in Rafah 5. Land levelling/confiscation West Bank • Ongoing levelling of land between Zeita and Qaffin through Nazlat Isa for construction of the wall. 6. Checkpoints/roadblocks/Separation Wall/restrictions on movement - Tulkarm/Qalqiliya governorates: 31 October: Despite the collective refusal by the village leader of Jbara last week to receive the green cards from the IDF, a total of 40 green cards were distributed to the residents of the village. On the same Friday, the IDF allowed all residents to move freely outside the village; those with green cards were allowed to move in vehicles, the others only by foot. This permission was suspended again on 3-4 November in conjunction with the closure of Tulkarm. In Qaffin, a total of 300 farmer households (1200 people) have received the green card out of 700 farmer households. No one from Baqa Ash Sharqiya, Nazlat Isa and Nazlat Abu Nar has as yet received the green card. All residents are still allowed to cross the entrance gate without a green card. However, for non residents, who need to enter, a green card is required. Teachers, medical staff and official employees are exempted so far. According to Palestinian Hydrology Group, the agricultural gates in Falamya, Jayyous and Zeita district are open for farmers holding a green card only; however the opening hours remain irregular. All gates in Ras Tira (except from the entrance gate from Ras Atiya) surrounding the settlement of Alfe Menashe have been reported closed during the week. Tulkarm/Qalqiliya: Check Point Kafriat Taybeh Nazlat Issa
Status open for the local population (only by foot) throughout the entire week except from 3-4 November. Back to back system has been facilitated for all kind of goods, including non-essential supplies except for 04 November where it was closed. Checkpoint open for people with special permits only Open for people with special permits only OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26 | 22 October – 04 November 2003 | 1
Kfar Saba Qalqiliya DCO
Open for people with special permits only Back to back system is operational for all kind of goods.
- Nablus/Jenin/Tubas governorates: • 03 November: The IDF closed Tayasir Gate at 12:30 for all Palestinians. • 04 November: Access to the villages of Azmout, Deir al Hatab and Salem was re-opened after cement block was pulled aside by Palestinians. However the Israeli soldiers re-enforced the closure of the three villages by closing the entrance of these villages at Deir al Hatab by installing road blocks. • Farmers from the villages of Zububa, Faqu’a, Jalbun and ‘Aba near “the Wall”, and the village of Arraba near the Mevo Dotan settlement, were banned from picking olives by Israeli soldiers order not to enter olive fields near “the wall” and the settlement of Mevo Dotan. *Nablus: Check Point Huwwara Southern main entrance Beit Iba Western entrance, mainly for trade Sarra South western entrance. Before the closure regime main road to Qalqiliya Qusin Internal closure between Sarra and Nablus Al Tur Southern checkpoint connecting the Samaritan district of Jarzim with Nablus city Beit Furik Eastern gate and checkpoint. After the closure regime main gateway between Nablus and the Jordan valley Shave Shomeron (Sabastia) North west, main road to Jenin Maale Efrayim South east connecting Jericho and Nablus Hamra East, before closure regime main road to Jordan, Tobas, Jenin Zaatara (Tappouah) South, main road to Ramallah
“17” ( ‘Asira) Northern exit of Nablus to the village of ‘Asira ash Shamaliyah and the neighboring villages.
Status Generally open only for holders of Nablus ID-cards, students, teachers and medical rd doctors. On the 3 of November the check point was totally closed. Same as above. Closed except for villagers from Sarra or Qusin, who occasionally are let through. The check point was partially opened in the period between 28-30. October. Same as above. Only open for Samaritans. The gate is occasionally closed for vehicles.
Occasionally open for villagers from Beit Furik, Beit Dajjan, Azmout, Deir al Hatab and Salem. Teachers with IDs from Ministry of Education (about 70) are usually let through but with serious delays. Closed for Palestinians unless they have special permits. Closed for Palestinians unless they have special permits. Hamra is generally closed for Palestinians unless having special permits, or coming from these villages: Frush Beit Dajan, Al Jiftlik, Bardala, Kardala, Ein Shibli, Al Nassaria and Al Aqrabania (from which villagers occasionally are let through). Usually open for Palestinians holding permits. Palestinians from the Governorate of Nablus can enter their villages and Nablus City through the check point, but are not allowed to exit (southwards). Palestinians from areas south of this check point are rd not allowed to enter northwards. On Monday 3 of November at 1630 the check point was totally closed until the next day. Closed several hours a day when the IDF is manning the check point. Totally closed for vehicles by several earth mounds.
Check point opening hours: 06:00. Closed for vehicles at 18:00, for pedestrians at 20:00. *Awarta checkpoint: (the main commercial checkpoint in Nablus since July 2003) Date 28/10/03
Status Closed for all traffic due to construction work.
Closed for all traffic due to construction work.
Closed for all traffic due to construction work.
1/11/03 2/11/03 3/11/03 4/11/03
Closed. Closed. Open for all goods, back to back Open for all goods, back to back
Remarks Foodstuff allowed through the Huwwara and Beit Iba check points. DCL did not respond to requests. Foodstuff allowed through the Huwwara and Beit Iba check points. DCL did not respond to requests. Foodstuff allowed through the Huwwara and Beit Iba check points. DCL did not respond to requests. Foodstuff only allowed through Beit Iba. Foodstuff only allowed through Beit Iba.
Check point open during day light hours only. OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26 | 22 October – 04 November 2003 | 2
*Jenin: Check Point Janat “Wadi Balaama” Southern entrance to Jenin City Haifa Street Western entrance to Jenin City Al Amn Al Watani Northern entrance of Jenin Salem North western entrance/ “Green Line” Um Ar Rihan Western gate on the separation barrier Qaddim (Al Suweitat) South eastern entrance
Status Closed for all Palestinians unless they have special permits. Permit holders were subjected to delays. Closed for all Palestinians unless they have special permits. Permit holders were subjected to delays. Closed for all Palestinians unless they have special permits. Permit holders were subjected to delays. Closed for Palestinians. “Military closed area”. Closed for Palestinians living in the area behind the barrier and the “green line”. After 17. October residents are ordered to obtain special permits to enter/exit. Closed during most hours of the day.
Check point opening hours: 06:00. Closed for vehicles at 18:00, for pedestrians at 20:00. Al Jalama Northern entrance/ main commercial check point
Back to back was allowed for foodstuff only.
Open during day light hours only. Tubas Gate Tayasir Gate Gate to the Tubas eastern agricultural lands in the Jordan Valley
Remarks Closed for Palestinians unless holding special permits.
Open during day light hours only. Ramallah governorate (Ramallah/Al-Bireh/Beituniya): • •
The IDF erected a rock/earth mound about one month ago at the northern entrance to Shuqba village. 2 Military concrete look-out towers were installed recently: one at ‘Atara checkpoint and the other is on the gate of Umm Safa checkpoint.
Check Point ‘Atara
Status Permenantly manned checkpoint blocking access for northern villages into Bir Zeit
Bethlehem/Hebron governorates: • The imposition of the total closure continues to be implemented strictly in both districts but particularly between Bethlehem and surrounding villages. Checkpoint procedure and transit times are deteriorating at CPs of Gilo (Bethlehem) and Ras-Al Joura (Hebron) with international humanitarian organizations also reporting an increase in access problems. • Palestinian movement remains restricted everywhere in area “C” roads and passage to the northern part of the West Bank is very time-intensive if not impossible • The total closure of Bethlehem remains in place. The IDF has set up a permanent presence at the Khader entrance, while barbed wire has been placed all along the road leading to the DCO Beit Jala CP, which remains shut to all traffic. • Bulldozers are now at work in the area of An Nu’man/Al Khas to level land for the construction of the local section of the Wall and the new bypass road. Activity is also reported in the Zatara area where the Teqoa – Ma’le Adumim bypass road is also being built Bethlehem/Hebron Check Point Gilo North entrance to Bethlehem Border Police Walaja Entrance to village, western access to Bethlehem IDF Bethlehem DCO
Status Open 24-hours for holders of Israeli IDs and for those holding relevant permits and international organizations. Closed AM on 31.10 to all, due to clashes as Palestinians tried to cross to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayer. UN staff continued to be requested to show additional ID (passport). Border Police procedures continue to appear inconsistent and transit times remain long. Open 24 hours for Palestinians carrying Israeli IDs or WB IDs and international humanitarian organizations. Open also to limited passage of commercial trucks in/out Bethlehem with no clear policy. Remains closed OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26 | 22 October – 04 November 2003 | 3
Entrance to Beit Jala IDF Container (“Wadi nar”) East of Abu Dis, main transit between North and South West Bank IDF Noqedim South-east of Bethlehem on route 356 (Zatara area) IDF Ras Al Joura (“Abu Habla”) Main entrance to Hebron IDF
Closed 2 and 3.11 for all. Students and teachers at Abu Dis University as well as workers from Bethlehem and Hebron are finding this crossing increasingly difficult for movement from/to the WB. Open 24 hours.
Open 06:00 to 18:00 for Palestinians but 24 hours for international humanitarian organizations and ambulances. Increasing use of barrier to slow down traffic, creating additional delays. Drivers and passengers (also UN) requested to step out of vehicles and present IDs on foot. Requests to search UN vehicles increasing due to presence of Palestinian UN staff.
Gaza crossings/checkpoints Check point Erez Karni Sufa Netzarim Abu Houli junction Abu al Ajin road Beach road
Status reopened on October 29 for traders and on 2 November for the Palestinians labourers who must be over 35 years old and married Open all week reopened for labourers on 2 November and 18 workers were allowed to cross Closed all week Open daily from 03:00 – 20:00. On 29 October it was closed from 14: 00 - 19:30, and on 30 October was closed from 12: 00 - 13:45 Closed Open all week
7. Access to Schools: • Teachers from Jenin working in the ‘Aba school were frequently denied access by the IDF, leading to serious delays. • 02 November: Israeli soldiers prevented 125 teachers to cross at the Durra/Fawar intersection. None was able to reach their respective schools in the area of Yatta, Ar Rihiya, As Samu, Khallet al Maiyya, etc. • 3 November: 19 teachers were prevented from crossing at Dura/Fawar intersection and could not reach their respective schools. • UNRWA reported continuous disruption in teachers’ access to schools in different districts due to closure and curfew. • 03 November: School children from Jbara could not attend school because the gate was closed. • Due to the closure in Tulkarm, teachers were not able to report to duty in Baqa ash Sharqiyia on 03 and 04 November 2003. 8. Labor movement into Israel West Bank: A total of 176 traders permit have been issued over the last week for the local population in Tulkarem and 200 have been issued in Qalqilya. No work permits have been issued in the other districts. Gaza 29 October: Israeli soldiers reduced the movement restrictions for the Palestinian labourers in the Gaza strip and re-opened Erez Crossing, which had been closed since 4 October 2003. IDF approved permissions to 10,000 agricultural and construction labourers to work inside Israel. Date Israel Erez Industrial Estate 29/10/2003 8 3,701 30/10/2003 110 3,888 31/10/2003 143 857 01/11/2003 10 1,589 02/11/2003 6,480 3,101 03/11/2003 8,661 3,532 04/11/2003 8,701 3,822 9. Other incidents OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26 | 22 October – 04 November 2003 | 4
Gaza • 29 October: Israeli soldiers closed Abu Houli checkpoint confining dozens of vehicles between the checkpoints and conducted a search campaign. One alleged Hamas activist was arrested. Sporadic Israeli soldiers shooting during the search injuring 7 Palestinians. • 31 October: Ahome-made Qassam rocket and a mortar shell were fired from the north of Beit Lahia towards the Israeli northern settlement of Eli Sinai. Qalqiliya/Tulkarm governorates: • 03 November: Tulkarm was placed on strict curfew for 10 hours, and the surrounding villages were closed. Random shootings took place during the curfew. 5 children between 12-17 years old were lightly injured by the gunfire. All shops were closed during the curfew. Schools were closed. Access was granted for international humanitarian aid vehicles, but was subject for Israeli soldiers’ checks. All entrances to Nur Shams and Tulkarem refugee camps were closed. Nablus/Jenin governorates • 29 October: Israeli soldiers entered the northern entrance of Balata camp, clashing with stone throwers. A 13-year old, was killed during the clashes. • 01 November: Six IDF infantry solders entered Al Yasmina alley in the old city of Nablus, where a road side bomb exploded. All were wounded, one seriously. • 01 November: Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 23-year old man, when he was driving his motorcycle near a flying check point. The soldiers said he refused orders to stop • 04 November: Twelve armoured jeeps, two APCs and several bulldozers entered the area of Balata camp leading to clashes with stone throwers, as a result 11 people were injured. Ramallah governorate • Israeli soldiers and surveyors visited Ni’lin village in the last week of October 2003. Points were painted on rocks on village land. According to the Mayor, the IDF did not contact the Ni’lin Municipality and refused to talk to the Municipality about what they were doing on the land. No military orders regarding land confiscation or house demolitions have been issued so far. •
Construction work has continued dramatically on the new “Nili-Ofarim settler bypass road” (the old route 446) – linking Nili and Ofarim settlements. It will be four lanes and 5km long.
Hebron/Bethlehem governorates • 03 November: IDF attempted to stop the collection of olives near the settlement of Otniel (Hebron) and resorted to the use of tear gas to disperse those mobilized for the collection which included internationals. Eventually Palestinians were allowed to pick the harvest.
(Source: OCHA field units, UNRWA, UNSCO, PRCS, MoH, Governors’ office, Israeli MoFA & IDF web sites, Al Mizan, PCHR)
OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes No. 26 | 22 October – 04 November 2003 | 5