Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The IDF, PA security officers hold a ceremony to jointly unlock the gate (set up after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada, locked since 2001) on the Anabta–Tulkarm road, finalizing the transfer of security control over Tulkarm; the IDF sets up a checkpoint 30 m. down the road to check Palestinian IDs; all other checkpoints into and out of the city, all villages surrounding Tulkarm remain under Israeli control. The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Silwan; uproots 300 olive trees in Surif nr. Hebron for construction of the separation wall; issues a military order confiscating a plot of land (exact size not specified) in Nahalin w. of Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall, citing the 1950 Absentee Property Law (see Quarterly Update in JPS 135). Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on spread poisoned food pellets on 30 d. of Palestinians grazing land. The IDF says that the PA security forces have sealed 18 smuggler’s tunnels to date. (HA 3/22; HA, OCHA, PR 3/23; PCHR 3/24)