ICRC activities in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories: February 2006
28-02-2006 Operational Update
The following is an update of activities carried out by the ICRC in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories in February 2006.
Promoting respect for the civilian population
Special attention was given to the humanitarian consequences resulting from the drastic restriction of movement imposed on most Palestinians to access the Jordan valley. Inside the valley, the ICRC monitored the situation of the Bedouin community and handed over relief assistance to several households after their households were destroyed by the IDF.
In February, delegates continued to monitor difficulties faced by many farmers to obtain the necessary permits to get year-round access to their land located on the east side of the West Bank barrier.
Cases of settler violence towards Palestinian farmers continued to be documented by the ICRC. Necessary representations were made in a constructive and ongoing dialogue.
Monitoring conditions of detention
In Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories, the ICRC regularly visits detainees falling under its mandate in order to monitor their conditions of detention and the treatment they receive. The observations and recommendations of the ICRC are submitted confidentially to the authorities in charge.
Detainees visited in Israeli places of detention
In February, ICRC delegates visited the 4 interrogation centres and Gilboa, Nitzan, Hasharon and Megiddo Prisons. They also visited Salem, Efraim, Binyamin, Gush Etzion and Howarah Provisional Detention Centres as well as Qetziot military detention Camp. Other visits were carried out to Zohar Immigration Police Station and Ariel Police Station.
Detainees visited in the Territories
On the Palestinian side, ICRC delegates visited Saraya Central Prison and the interrogation centre of the General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, ICRC delegates visited Jericho, Nablus, Daheriyeh and Ramallah Central Prisons as well as the Military Police detention places in Tulkarem and Hebron. They also visited the interrogation centres of the General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) and the Preventive Security in Jericho, Ramallah, Jenin and Bethlehem. Other visits were carried out to the Police stations in Tubas and Jerusalem District Police in Ramallah.
Latest distributions in the West Bank and Gaza
During the month of February, the ICRC carried o ut the following relief activities:
House destruction relief programme
18 families in the Gaza Strip and West Bank received ICRC relief kits.
H2 assistance programme
In the city of Hebron (zone H2 – under Israeli control), the ICRC distributed food parcels and hygiene hits to more than 1,760 families especially affected by strict closures.
More than 200 food and hygiene parcels were distributed to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza
Three projects are in the implementation phase in the West Bank.
In Hebron District, a project has been launched concerning the rehabilitation and extension of the Yatta water transmission network in order to supply water to unserved communicates. This project will directly benefit 10,000 people.
In Qalqila district, two projects are still in the phase of implementation. These are the construction of a booster station in Kufur Thulth and the rehabilitation of a pumping station in Falamya. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of March 2006. Once completed, they will improve the water supply of some 5,700 people.
Cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and Magen David Adom (MDA)
The third MDA/PRCS Liaison Committee Meeting was convened in Jerusalem at the ICRC delegati on and focused mainly on the priority and pending issues related to the access and stationing of PRCS ambulances in Jerusalem.
A meeting was held at the Allenby Bridge between MDA, PRCS, IDF and the ICRC to discuss ways to improve patient transfer to and from Jordan.
Two ICRC resource delegates from Geneva and Amman visited the OT/AT to strengthen cooperation with the PRCS in the framework of mine risk education.
It is the responsibility of all those involved in armed conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The ICRC supports their efforts by raising awareness about IHL and about its role and activities.
Throughout the month, presentations were given to checkpoint commanders, military police passage unit trainees, military police non commissioned officers (NCOs) serving in military detention centres and the command of the IDF's ultra-orthodox battalion (in charge of checkpoints in the Jericho district).
Presentations were also given to the participants of MDA's Natural Disaster Response Team Training, namely on the Movement and the Fundamental Principles, as well as on dealing with the media during natural disasters.
In addition, a presentation on the IHL aspects of the International Court of Justice ruling in the Congo v. Uganda case was given to the International Law Forum of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Law Faculty. Participants included members of faculty, advanced students and army, government and NGO lawyers and the Dean of the Hong Kong City University.
On the Palestinian side, a two day training session on the Exploring Humanit arian Law (EHL) manuals for the PRCS EHL relays was held at PRCS head office in Ramallah and was attended by the head of training at the ministry of education.