Tuesday, May 29, 2007

OCHA Closure Update - May 2007

Information from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

OCHA Closure Update

Movement within and in and out of the West Bank is controlled by numerous checkpoints, roadblocks, earthmounds and gates. These manned and unmanned physical barriers combined with the Barrier and complex permit regime, restrict the movement of around 2.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

(English) http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/Closure%20Apr07_2.pdf

(Arabic) http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/Closure%20Apr07_3Arabic.pdf

OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes/ Protection of Civilians

Of note [week of May 4]

Gaza Strip:
- Four Palestinians, including a 17 year-old boy, were killed by the IDF during incidents along the border fence in the Gaza Strip. A fifth Palestinian died of wounds sustained during a previous IDF incursion.
- During the week, a total of 22 homemade (Qassams) rockets were fired towards southern Israel (compared to 30 rockets the previous week), at least three of which landed in Palestinian areas. No injuries were recorded.
- The IDF entered the Gaza Strip on three separate occasions; twice to conduct a levelling and excavation operation near the border fence and on a third time to conduct a house-to-house and tunnel search operation under the cover of heavy helicopter fire near Sufa crossing.
- In three separate incidents, IDF vessels opened fire in the direction of Palestinian fishing boats west of Rafah and Al Nuseirat Camp. No injuries were reported.
- The BBC’s Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston, has been missing for more than seven weeks after apparently being abducted on 12 March. His whereabouts remain unknown and there are serious concerns for his welfare and safety.

West Bank:
- Five Palestinians, one Israeli and two internationals were injured by Israeli settlers this week in the West Bank. Israeli settlers also attempted to again return to the evacuated settlement of Khomesh in the northern West Bank and clashed with nearby Palestinians before being evacuated by the IDF two days later.
- Access of Palestinians to the Jordan Valley improved dramatically. Movement from the West Bank continues to be controlled through the four main checkpoints. However, a permit is no longer required to enter the Jordan Valley for West Bank residents. Access is only possible with public transportation.
- For the second week Palestinians from the northern West Bank received renewed requisition orders for plots of lands that were requisitioned during the building of the Barrier in 2002 and 2003. The renewed orders are for three years from the date of the expiry of the original order and until 31 December 2008.

Ongoing and escalating PA strikes:
- Industrial action is escalating in the West Bank (amongst teachers, healthcare practitioners and other PA workers) and spilled over into the Gaza Strip where PA school teachers have remained on strike since 30 April to protest the non-payment of their salaries.

For more information, please contact Juliette Touma, 054-81-555-46, toumaj@un.org

United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Mac House
P.O.Box 38712
Tel:++ 972-2-5829962/5853
email: ochaopt@un.org

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