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Occupation magazine - Weekly summary

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The Weekly summary 30 January-5 February 2005

By Adi Dagan

In the week`s headlines:

-- The last week was marked by preparations for the summit in Sharm al-Sheikh with the participation
of the King of Jordan, the President of Egypt, Abu Mazen and Sharon. There was talk about steps Israel
would take, including the transfer of 5 Palestinian cities to the control of the Authority, the liberation of
Palestinian prisoners, changes to the lists of wanted persons and relief at the crossing-points. All this
while security cooperation between the sides is strengthening.

-- Israeli Attorney General Mazuz ruled this week that the government`s decision of 22 June 2004, to
apply the Absentee Property Law to Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem whose owners live [elsewhere] in
the West Bank, was invalid (the law allows the state to use the lands without the right of appeal or
compensation for their owners). Since 1967 the government has not applied this law to lands in East
Jerusalem owned by Palestinians in the West Bank and the A-G warned that the government`s decision
would have serious legal implications in the international community (Haaretz).

-- The Peace Now movement published its annual report for 2004 and its essential findings were that
27 settlement outposts were expanded (out of a total of 99 outposts), 1,834 dunams were added to
land zoned for construction in the settlements and 3,500 housing units were actually built. There is
massive construction in over 40 of the settlements, half of it outside the area zoned for construction.
Two new roads were built in the territories (Dead Sea to Nokdim, Nili to Ofarim) and there was
substantial extension of the trans-Samaria highway (Highway 5) and the Dead Sea-Jericho highway
(Highway 1).

Attacks, killed and wounded:

The newspaper Haaretz reported this week that 53 Palestinians were killed in January by the Israeli
army, about half of them civilians.

According to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, on 30 January 4 Palestinian schoolchildren were
injured by rubber bullets fired by soldiers in the village of Burqa in the Nablus area. According to
PCHR-Gaza (a human rights organization); on the same day the Israeli army killed an old Palestinian
man near the Egyptian border south of Rafah. On 31 January an 11-year-old girl was killed and
another girl was injured in their school in Rafah. According to Palestinians, soldiers shot her. The
Israeli army is investigating. According to the same organization, on 3 February a 26-year-old
Palestinian prisoner was burned to death in a fire that broke out in the Megiddo prison. On the same
day a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was arrested at the Hawara checkpoint - according to the Israeli
army he was carrying an explosive belt, weapons and ammunition magazines. An 18-year-old youth
died from wounds sustained in an army attack in Beit Lahia in January which killed seven youths from
one family were killed. On 5 February a settler ran over a 35-year-old Palestinian man near the Jit
junction. The man was moderately injured (IMEMC). On 4 February the Israeli army killed 2 Palestinians
near the separation fence in the northern Gaza Strip (Haaretz). On 1 February an Israeli soldier was
lightly injured near Bethlehem. On the same day shots were fired at a patrol in Nablus - there were no
injuries. On 1 February seven shells were fired at settlements in the Gaza Strip. Vehicles were damaged
(IMEMC). On the same day a settler was injured when a molotov cocktail was thrown at his car near
Migdalim. Two settlers were injured in Gush Katif (OCHA). On 3 February 3 Israeli soldiers were
wounded in the Gaza Strip (IMEMC) and 3 were wounded in the South Hebron Hills (Haaretz). Shots were
fired at an Israeli outpost near Neve Dekalim and also on the Karni-Netzarim road (Haaretz).

Border crossings and military operations:

On 1 February the Rafah border crossing point was opened to people leaving, with a restriction on the
crossing of people aged 16-35. The other crossing points into the Strip remained closed or partly
closed. Because of the closure of the Karni crossing-point (the commercial crossing-point between the
Strip and Israel) there was a shortage of food products and industrial raw materials. The Erez crossing-
point has been closed for 6 months (a few patients in serious condition and 40 factory-owners in the
Erez industrial park cross it). There continue to be severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians
at the checkpoints, on the highways and between communities in the Gaza Strip (PCHR).

On 1 February there was a closure in Sayda village, north of Tul Karem. On 1 February the Israeli army
shelled houses in Khan Yunis and al-Amal in the Gaza Strip. On 3 February soldiers deployed in Einta
west of Hebron and entered dozens of houses (PCHR). On 3 February a curfew was imposed on Abu-Dis
and Azariyyeh in Jerusalem because of security warnings. 4 February: Israeli soldiers opened fire on
houses in Deir al-Balah, in the Strip (IMEMC).

The Separation Wall, land confiscation, and damage to agricultural lands:

Following an appeal by residents of Bethlehem and Beit Jalla against the route, the High Court of Justice
this week approved the inclusion of Rachels Tomb inside the fence. There is a Yeshiva there and 100
housing units will be built for Jews near the tomb. PM Sharon postponed the governments discussion
of the route near Gush Etzion (Haaretz).

29 January: the Israeli army distributed land-seizure notices in the Bir Naballah area (south of Ramallah)
in order to erect a separation fence around the Bir Naballah enclave. It involves 1,466 dunams that
belong to the villages of Bir Naballah, al-Jit, Beit Hanina, Rafat and Kalandia. 3,000 dunams of
agricultural land belonging to al-Jit will remain west of the fence. On 31 January the High Court of
Justice issued an interim order to bar the demolition of houses in the village of Wadi al-Rasha west of
the fence. The residents appealed against the route of the fence that left them west of it, cut off from
the West Bank in the Alfei Menashe enclave, and according to them they were given demolition orders
as a threat to compel them to withdraw the appeal (Haaretz). On 1 February land-seizure orders were
distributed north of Ariel and lands were flattened and olive trees uprooted between Ariel and Salfit in
order to prepare for the construction of the fence. Similarly lands were flattened in the area of Deir
Balout and Azawiya to prepare for building the fence. Preparations were carried out in order to build a
tunnel under road 57 (the road that leads to the Avnei Hefetz settlement) through which Palestinians
will pass to travel between Tul Karem and Qalqiliya. Work continued this week on the construction of
the separation fence in the Jerusalem area between the A-Ram checkpoint and the Kalandia checkpoint
(road 60), on the road between Hizma and Anata, north of Neve Yaakov, in Sheikh Saad, Sawahra
Sharqiyyah, Abu Dis, al-Azariyyah and Sur Baher (OCHA). 30 January: the army confiscated 50 dunams
of agricultural land south of Hebron. Settlers from Susya uprooted 300 olive trees near al-Muin. The
army damaged agricultural land south of Yatta. The Green Patrol damaged 800 dunams of crops in
the same area (PCHR). On 4 February hundreds of Palestinians accompanied by international activists
marched in protest against the confiscation of their land in Kras, north of Hebron. Israeli soldiers fired
stun grenades in their direction, no one was injured (IMEMC).

Translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall
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