Destruction of Palestinian Public Institutions:
First Preliminary Report --- April 13, 2002
(Palestine Emergency Committee)

"This is a humanitarian crisis without precedent in its destructive impact
on the Palestinian people and its institutions",
Joint statement on the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Territories, from
United Nations organizations, including UNDP, UNFPA, World Health
Organization, UN High Commission for Refugees, International Federation of
Red Cross and Red Crescent and UNWRA, among others. Rome, 10 April 2002**

This is a very preliminary inventory of damage done to Palestinian public
institutions by the Israeli army in the course of its invasion of
Palestinian cities and villages that began March 29th. The information will
undoubtedly be augmented by reports from throughout the West Bank once more
on-the-ground investigations are possible and when communication systems are
working again. Indeed, this report overwhelmingly focuses on institutions in
Ramallah, due to the fact that temporary liftings of the ongoing curfew have
allowed individuals to make preliminary inspections of institutions once
they are no longer occupied by IDF forces. The main focus here is
particularly on ministries and other institutions of the Palestinian
Authority, while ongoing information is being collected on non-governmental
organizations, and the media. However, even the initial findings indicate
several disturbing patterns with very grave consequences. In particular,
institutions of the Palestinian Authority have been subjected to a
consistent pattern of incursions which focus on seizure of records and
financial resources and destruction of technical infrastructure. There has
been a consistent pattern of seizure of documents, hard disk from computers,
paper files as well as widespread vandalism. In addition, is what we have
called- "sanctioned theft" - seizing of equipment which has no informational
or intelligence value, as well as some theft of money. The private media has
also been subject to extensive and systematic destruction of its technical
facilities. The evidence suggests a policy of de-institutionalizing all
Palestinian media - and not just that of the PNA but Palestine's vibrant
independent TV and radio sector, as well. The limited data on destruction
and theft of non-governmental organizations, is also reported. Due to the
limited data available, it is less clear if the organizations themselves are
specific targets or whether they are primarily victims of general searches,
IDF occupation of buildings for barracks, sniper positions, or lookouts.

The interim agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation
Organization, and the fragile, if flawed, peace that ensued, ushered in a
period of Palestinian institution-building that was unprecedented in scale,
although drawing on the rich experience of developing local institutions,
particularly non-governmental organizations, during the period of direct
Israeli military occupation. While the Palestinian Authority admittedly had
very limited sovereignty, powers and territory, for the first time a
Palestinian government authority directed Palestinian education, health,
civil affairs and social services, among other functions and
responsibilities, and began to plan for economic and social development.
Elections were held in January 1996 for the first elected Palestinian
parliament which brought into being the 88-member Palestinian Legislative
Council and elected Yasser Arafat as President. When Israeli policy and
military action is directed at "dismantling" the Palestinian Authority, it
not only targets political leaders and institutions of self-rule, but it
also targets vital services for the survival of Palestinian society,
un-doing developmental projects and initiatives crucial to a stable and
democratic Palestinian future.
Palestinian institution-building was strongly supported by the international
community; donor funds to Palestinian governmental and non-governmental
institutions in the 1995-2000 period amounted to 3,313,719,000 USD of which
933,411USD went for social spending, particularly education and health. Up
until October 2000, the Authority also steadily increased its own revenue
collection. Even in the difficult conditions of siege and closure of the
second intifada and the refusal of the Israeli government to transfer owed
revenue clearances to the Authority (its most important source of revenues),
it is vital, as the World Bank and UNSCO state, "to recognize the essential
functions and achievements of the Palestinian Authority in providing basic
essential services under very adverse conditions during the past five
 months" (World Bank and UNSCO 4 April 2002). The incursions into the
Ministries of Education, Finances and Civil Affairs, as well as the
municipalities, noted below, certainly threaten these services and should be
of great concern.

 The report is based on phone interviews with individuals who were able to
make on-site visits as well as reports issued by institutions that were able
to make preliminary inspections themselves. It includes only those
institutions that could be physically surveyed for damage. Institutions that
are still occupied by Israeli military forces (as stated in the report), are
included only if the external assessment gives some indication of the extent
of probable damage. The ongoing curfew in all of the towns invaded by the
IDF has been the main obstacle to collecting information.

The detailed report contains the following:

Ramallah PNA institutions
Ministry of Civil Affairs
The Legislative Council (PLC)
Ministry of Education
Central Bureau of Statistics
Ministry of Finance

Ramallah/ El Bireh Local Government
Municipality of Ramallah
Municipality of al Bireh
Al Bireh Municipal Library
Ramallah District Chamber of Commerce

Ramallah Non-governmental Institutions
1. Human Rights Organizations:  al Haq, Mattin Group and Mandela Institute
2.Development and Relief Organizations: HDIP and Union of Medical Relief
Committees, Ramallah branch of the YMCA,
3. Private Radio and Television Stations: al Quds University Educational
T.V. and Radio and others in Ramallah

Other Towns:
Bethlehem Municipality,
Anabta Municipality and two community organizations
Tulkarm General Union of Palestinian Women Office

 At this time there is no further information available on the fate of other
occupied or invaded Ministries in Ramallah which include:
Ministry of Culture (IDF continues to occupy it since Friday March 29)
Ministry of Information (IDF continues to occupy it since Friday March 29)
Ministry of Interior (Inside Presidents Compound: shelled -- amount of
destruction unknown)
Ministry of Agriculture (occupied by IDF April 12th exited April 13)
Ministry of Social Affairs (occupied by IDF today April 13)
Health Secretariat (occupied and exited by IDF April 13th)
General Personnel Office (occupied and exited by IDF April 13)

At this time there is no further information on reported damage or IDF
occupation of the following Ramallah-based NGOs:
 al Damir, prisoners rights organization; al Mawarid Educational resource
Center; Law human rights organization, Sakakini Cultural Center (invaded
April 13th); The Young Scientists Club, The Agricultural Relief Committees.

The following NGOs have been invaded by IDF (and visited by staff when
curfew lifted) but have only suffered mild damage from searches includes:
MUWATEN, Birzeit Continuing Education Program, Birzeit Institute of Music.

Report Compiled By:
Dr. Rema Hammami, Birzeit University
Dr. Sari Hanafi, Shaml (Refugee and Diaspora Research Center)
Dr. Elizabeth Taylor

This preliminary report only covers civil institutions of government and has
not attempted to deal with the widespread destruction of Palestinian Police
stations and other security force installations.

1. Ministry of Civil Affairs
Location: Um al Sharayat

The Ministry of Civil Affairs is headed by Minister Jamil al Tarifi. It is
the main address for Palestinians living outside the occupied territories
who want to apply for visitor permits, family re-unification and residency
permits. It also handles the customs and other administrative details for
Palestinian returnees. As such, most of its work is done in liaison with
Israeli officials who vet every application. The Ministry is housed in a
five story building and divided into six departments.

Damage: Extensive vandalism, some confiscation of materials and some theft.

From a preliminary on-sight report by Ministry employees the following
description was provided. The main doors to the Ministry were blown open
(evidence of a blast), inside the main entrance reception area were the
remains of a large pile of burnt documents.
Equipment: Inside the two sections that were visited thus far (there are six
sections altogether), destroyed Xerox copiers (seem to be sledge hammered)
as well as destroyed computers and printers. The central phone exchange
taken as well as a digital receiver in the Ministers office.
Confiscation of Records: Thus far some missing hard drives, but stolen
papers from especially the Ministers office (neighbors told the employee
they saw soldiers carrying out what seemed to be boxes of papers). Many
destroyed documents.

Theft: Door to Minister's office blown open, the safe inside also blown open
and its contents including documents and Ministry finances missing. Petty
cash of 6,000 shekels taken from the finance department.

Other: The employee stated that the entrance and offices she entered were in
complete disarray and severely vandalized. Besides broken equipment, broken
filing cabinets and papers strewn everywhere -- many internal windows were
smashed as well. Additionally, pictures on walls (especially with
Palestinian themes) were found on the floor smashed. Also graffiti sprayed
on walls. The employee stated that she was so horrified at the extent of the
damage and vandalism that she was unable to visit more of the building and
left in tears.

Location: Ramallah / Masyun district
The Ministry serves about one million children, i.e. a third of the total
Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza. It is the main address for
the overall administration of all government primary and secondary schools,
their faculties, as well as archiving of student transcripts. On April 3rd
at approximately 4:00 p.m. 30 APC's and tanks carrying approximately 150
soldiers broke down the ministry's main gates. Four employees in the
Ministry were taken to open doors, in some cases when they had no keys doors
were exploded open or broken open. Reports suggest that at other times even
when staff offered to open doors they were ignored while soldiers forcibly
broke in. Staff were made to stand outside in the cold for more than six
hours while soldiers were inside the building.
Damage: Extensive vandalism, theft and confiscation
External Damage: IDF tanks demolished the main gate to the building and the
main doors of the premises were forced open.

Internal Damage: The IDF forces vandalized the Ministry's offices,
confiscating computers and educational aids and removing or destroying vital
records and documents.  Although it has not been possible for the Ministry
to assess the full damage and destruction wrought, the following specific
damage was noted by Ministry employees who were able to make a brief room by
room survey of the damage when the curfew was lifted for a few hours.

 General: the Ministry's computer net servers were removed
financial office: the main safe  was blown open damaging its contents,
including dossiers, promissory notes, cash, check books and vouchers
-central office: the Israeli forces blew up metal filing cabinets destroying
vital  documents.
- all offices: files have been torn up, and left in huge piles on the floor
-  Storage room:  the IDF confiscated computers, overhead projectors, video
sets, and other valuable educational equipment
-  Central office:  The Israeli forces blew up and destroyed all main doors.
They took away or destroyed records and references that are highly important
for official transcripts.
-  Remaining offices in the Ministry:  The forces seem to have confiscated
many floppy disks, CDs, files, dossiers and documents but more time will be
needed to more accurately assess.

The Ministry's records, which were confiscated or destroyed, have been built
up over many years. The Ministry hopes it will be able to re-construct
destroyed records for the issuing and certifying of students' transcripts
from regional MOE offices. The MOE is unable to gain full and clear access
to the premises in order to make a comprehensive and detailed assessment of
the damage and losses at this point. However, it estimates the financial
loss merely of equipment, such as computers, videos, TV sets and overhead
projectors, to reach millions of dollars. Most of this equipment was
financed by donor countries and organizations. The main and direct impact of
this destruction, however, is on the one million Palestinian children who
are enrolled in the school system and who constitute the main resource of
Palestinian society in the future.

This data is based on a fuller report undertaken by the Ministry itself. For
the full text please contact Acting Minister of Education
Dr. Naim Abu Hommos,
Email [email protected]
Fax + 970 298 3222

3. Palestinian Legislative Council (al-Bireh and Ramallah)
The Palestinian Legislative Council (or parliament) has two main buildings
within el-Bireh/ Ramallah. The al-Bireh building is the main administrative
office of the PLC while the Assembly Chambers are based in Ramallah in the
Ministry of Education.

A.      Main Administrative Building in al- Bireh
Damage: Vandalism, Confiscation and Sanctioned Theft
Based on an on-site visit by the PLC director general, and two PLC staff, as
well as witnesses in the neighborhood, the following preliminary report can
be made. Israeli troops broke in late Tuesday night, around 1:00 a.m. on
Wednesday, April 10.The actual break-in was witnessed by neighbors living
across the street from the PLC building.
Destruction: Soldiers broke into the main entrance and subsequently the door
and glass partition of the Economic Committee, the Budget Committee, the
Political Committee, and the Legal Committee. Most of the damage included
breaking and removal of doors and windows. Some equipment was damaged and

Sanctioned Theft: A computer and many files were taken from the Speaker's
Office. A computer was also taken from the technical departments office.

Confiscation: Files and documents taken from the Speakers office and the
Chief Clerks office. Hard drives taken from computers. All the computers
were open in the personnel department.

Vandalism: The Library and the Public Relations Unit have suffered extensive
vandalism, books and files were thrown all over the floor. The door of the
"Hansard" (sound and video equipment) office was broken, documents were
thrown on the floor, but the equipment was left intact.

The IT Unit, Information Department, and Director's General office did not
sustain any damage. Cars and vehicles parked on the streets were damaged,
and troops took keys of vehicles from the Technical Department. Telephones
are operating at the Council, and the Council has electricity.
(The above information  is based on ARD report provided by Dr. Mahmoud
Labadi, PLC director general, and two PLC staff Faisal Zakarneh, and Ahmad
Abu Dayyeh, along with Amin Sbeih of ARD/PLC2 project)

B.  Legislative Council Chambers in Ramallah Ministry of Education Building

The Chambers of the Legislative Council are where the 88 members meet when
the PLC is in session. The Chamber auditorium includes not only seating for
the council members, but expensive technical equipment for computerized
voting, video coverage of sessions and a closed circuit communications
system to link it with the administrative building in el-Bireh.
Damage: Destroyed Doors; Confiscation of Video Archive of PLC Sessions
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on April 3rd, around 150 soldiers, with 30 tanks
and APCs, forced their way into the Ministry of Education's Compound. The
soldiers detained four employees of the Ministry of Education's compound,
including Mr. Salah Soubani, and made them walk in front of the soldiers and
open doors.
A group of about 50 soldiers forced Mr. Soubani to accompany them to the
Legislative Council Chambers, next to the elementary school, on the grounds
of the Ministry compound. They asked several questions about the Chambers:
Who attends the meetings? What do they do in the sessions? Do people work
there or live there?
Any door that could not be opened with a key, was blown up with an explosive
charge. [Several people living in the neighborhood heard the explosions.] A
door to the school was blown up and the door between the school and the PLC
Chambers was also blown up. The soldiers looked through every room of the
PLC wing. They took all of the video-cassette tapes from the lower video
room, at least a hundred tapes of Council sessions, put them in plastic
bags, and carried them away. As far as Mr. Soubani knows, no equipment was
stolen or damaged in the raid.
The soldiers did not appear to be from a special unit. They wore basic green
army fatigues. They did not use names when they talked to each other,
instead they called each other by numbers, except for one soldier who was
repeatedly referred to as "Sharon".
When the rooms were inspected today, April 4th, Mr. Salah Soubani confirmed
that sound (Hansard) and Video equipment seemed to be in place and intact.
The above  report is based on ARD/PLC2 project interview with Mr. Salah
Soubani, director of the Information Department at the Ministry of

4. Ministry of Finance Central Office

Location: Sateh Marhaba Area

There are three buildings of the Finance Ministry in Ramallah. The Central
Office in Suteh Marhaba has been visited by Ministry employees once the
curfew was lifted, the other two (one in the Industrial district and one
downtown) are occupied by the IDF and cannot be visited. The Central Office
houses the Ministers office as well as a number of main departments
(Accounts, Payroll, General administration etc.). It was broken into by a
group of soldiers on approximately the 4th day of the invasion of Ramallah
according to neighbors.

Damage: Broken doors, Extensive Confiscation of Computers and Computer Hard

Destruction: Broken entrance doors and many internal doors destroyed, as
well as windows. Elevator badly damaged. Destroyed Computers. Destroyed

Confiscation: Computer skeletons strewn on the floor, due to many hard disk
drives being taken. The most hard hit section in terms of taken computers
and hard disks seems to be the Payroll department. Documents strewn on the
floor suggests that paper files may have been taken but the employees did
not have time to assess. Other computers were found with their screens on.

Other comments/ Impact: The general director suggested that the main
destruction and loss was of the Ministry's financial records and accounts.
The Ministry is in charge of disbursing salaries, health and pension
payments to all government employees including teachers, hospital workers,
the police as well as government bureaucrats. The GD says that given the
loss of information, public sector employees face not getting paid in the
foreseeable future until the records can be re-established. In addition,
files for back pay and insurance may have been lost as well.

Information based on interview with General Director Mr. Sami Ramlawi tel.

5. Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
Fieldwork Administration Section
Location: Radio Road near Lions Square (al Manara)

The Central Bureau of Statistics is headed by Dr. Hasan Abu Libdeh. The main
section of PCBS is in Balu'a  area and is where most of the statistical data
bases and reports are housed, as well as administrative records and
finances. That building was invaded by IDF troops during the first
re-occupation of Ramallah in October 2001. At that time soldiers confiscated
hard disks and vandalized a number of the offices. As of this writing (April
13th) the Balu'a office has not been touched. However, the Fieldwork section
in downtown Ramallah  which serves as the administrative center for
fieldwork has been invaded on four occasions. The department is located in a
four-storey residential and commercial building and is composed of four

Damage: (Only covers first three invasions - as yet no confirmed information
on damage wrought by April 12th  break-in). Two broken doors, some broken
windows -- both in the course of soldiers entering into the building. Damage
is relatively light and there is no extensive vandalism.

Comment: The director of the section said that that it has been entered by
soldiers on four occasions; March 30th, April 3rd and April 8th and 12th.
Based on visiting the site after the first three incursions he thinks the
main aim was general search since the apartments they entered (two) only saw
light vandalism such as broken cupboards and some strewn papers. Equipment
was not damaged. However, neighbors report that on the most recent incursion
into the building (April 12th) they heard explosives being used.

We have only been able to gather preliminary information based on on-site
visits about the following:
Ramallah Municipality
El-Bireh Municipality
Ramallah Chamber of Commerce
El-Bireh Municipal Library

1. Ramallah Municipality
Damage: Extensive vandalism, potentially some confiscation and theft
Ramallah Municipality is located near Clock square, it contains departments
of administration, the court room, engineering, health, sanitation,
archives, surveying  and finance.
 On the evening of Saturday, March 30, a contingent of Israeli soldiers
forcibly entered the Municipality and remained inside for approximately 12
hours. The building was empty when the soldiers entered. The main door was
forced open by spraying it with over fifty bullets of different calibers.
The Municipality, was empty when soldiers broke in, nevertheless they
remained there for approximately 12 hours.. Based on a preliminary site
visit, by municipality staff once the curfew was lifted they report the
"Every department was vandalized,. Furniture was turned over and damaged,
paper files and documents were tampered with, dispersed and thrown to the
floor, surveying plans and building license files were destroyed, office
doors were broken; glass windows, doors and partitions were smashed, and
extensive damage was inflicted on the PCs and computer network. Many of the
PCs were damaged; the CPUs and hard disks either damaged or taken by the
soldiers, and so was the main server. Two steel safes were blown open which
contained important documents pertaining to the work of the Municipality and
some petty cash. Internal concrete block wall partitions were destroyed, and
extensive damage was sustained by the heating, electrical and computer cable
The Municipality staff has not been able to make a complete assessment of
the damage nor determine the extent of the missing equipment, documents and
other items.
The forced intrusion into the municipality was witnessed by reporters and
guests staying at a nearby hotel.

2. Al-Bireh Municipality
Based on data provided by municipal engineers who were able to briefly visit
the building when the curfew was lifted.
Damage: Destruction of outside walls, doors, furniture, computers, municipal
works jeep destroyed, some confiscation of files and hard disks, extensive
vandalism, theft

Destruction: An IDF contingent arriving in tanks broke into the building on
the second day of Ramallah's invasion (Saturday March 30th). The tanks broke
down the outside walls of the municipality and crushed the municipal works
jeep parked outside. Entrance and internal doors broken down. Shattered
windows. Broken furniture. Five computers destroyed  (some for hard disks,
others just vandalized).  Fax machine shattered.
Confiscation: A number of files seemed to be missing and at least two hard
disks taken from computers. The municipality was unable to see what other
documents were taken as yet because of the amount of papers strewn on the

Sanctioned Theft: $12,000 surveying equipment missing

A number of offices were in complete disarray, with overturned furniture and
broken file cabinets. Destroyed files. Computers, central telephone system
and alarm system no longer function.

3. Al-Bireh Municipal Library
Located Near al-Bireh Municipality.

The library building was visited by municipal engineers briefly when the
curfew was lifted. A contingent of soldiers invaded the building on the
second day of the invasion 30th March

Damage: Primarily vandalism, destruction of computers, broken doors and
windows, Confiscation of books and journal

Destruction: External doors, shattered windows, 3 computers broken.

Vandalism: extensive papers and books on the floor
Confiscation: One computer screen was on suggesting that its hard disk had
been taken. A substantial amount of books and journals seem to be missing
although exactly how many (and what type) cannot as yet be assessed.

4. Ramallah Chamber of Commerce (New Building):
Location: (Nazlat Rukab's across from Ramallah Post office)
Based on on-site visit when curfew lifted by Director of the Chamber of
Commerce, Mr. Salah Odeh

The Ramallah Chamber of Commerce serves the whole district of Ramallah. The
Chamber of Commerce owns two attached buildings with the Chamber housed in
two floors in the new main building across from the post office. In the new
building a number of offices were rented out to the private sector (doctor's
clinic, a development research institute, lawyers office etc.). The private
businesses only had their doors broken open and were searched. The offices
of the municipality were widely vandalized. There are no working offices of
the C.C. in the adjacent (old) building, which is mainly rented out to
private businesses and associations. The old building suffered extensive
fire damage (see below under NGOs the offices of the Palestinian Teachers

Damage: External doors blasted, internal doors blasted or broken down.
Smashed computers and Xerox copier, extensive vandalism

On Sunday March 31st a Contingent of soldiers broke into the Chamber of
Commerce building. They blew down the main entrance to the five floor
building. The front entrance was completely blackened by the blast. On the
3rd floor, where the offices of the Chamber of Commerce are located, they
also blew open the door with explosives. The large brass sign at the
entrance with the C.C.'s insignia was shattered completely and the stairwell
blackened by explosive blasts. Inside, the first office they entered
suffered the most damage. Four computers were destroyed (thrown on the
ground and smashed), the Xerox copier was also thrown on the ground and
broken. There was wide-scale vandalism throughout the other offices with
files and papers strewn on the floor. Whether hard disks or paper files were
taken cannot yet be assessed. Furniture in the president's office was
vandalized. The door to the 5th floor conference room was blown open but
nothing seems to have been touched inside. Also the door to the roof was
broken open but again there was no other visible damage. Electricity lines
throughout the building were hanging from the ceiling, there is no
electricity functioning in the building.


As of this writing we have been able to collect briefs on the following:

Human Rights Organizations: al Haq, Mattin Group and Mandela Institute
Development and Relief Organizations: HDIP and Union of Medical Relief
Charitable Association: Ramallah branch of the YMCA, al Nahda Women's
Society for the Hearing Impaired
Private Radio and Television Stations: al Quds University Educational T.V.
and Radio  and others

1. The Health Development Information Policy Unit (HDIP)
Location: Ramallah Main Street
The Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP) was
established in 1989 by a group of experienced researchers and health
practitioners committed to improving the status of health care for all
Palestinians. An independent, non-profit organization, HDIP specializes in
policy research and planning concerning development issues and health care
in Palestine and its publications are widely used by international and local
development agencies and planners. HDIP also advocates on health care issues
relevant to marginalized groups like women, youth and the disabled. HDIP has
served as a consultant for numerous international organizations, including
the World Bank, the World Health Organization, UNDP, UNICEF and
international and local NGOs.
HDIP is located on Main Street, Ramallah, in the same building complex that
houses the economic development and rights organizations, Mattin Group, and
Al Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of
Jurists.All are currently occupied by IDF soldiers who are using the offices
as a base, with tanks stationed in the Al Ahliyyeh Street crossing Main
Street, and barbed wire preventing access.
On the night of 30 March 2002, a staff member staying in the Al Haq office
reported Israeli soldiers invading the building at 11:20PM and that both Al
Haq and HDIP had been entered by Israeli troops.
Damage: The extent of the damage cannot be assessed as Israeli troops are
currently in control of HDIP offices and environs. Residents have reported
soldiers removing cartons and other items from the building. HDIP had
recently expanded its offices into a very large space below the current
offices of Mattin Group which HDIP had refurbished and purchased large
amounts of new computers, office equipment and furniture.

2. The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, Ramallah
Location: Ramouni Building, Ramallah off Main Street
The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees is a grassroots
community-based health organization founded in 1979 by a group of
Palestinian doctors and health professionals to address the problems of the
decaying and inadequate health infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza
under Israeli military rule. Now one of the largest Palestinian
non-governmental organization, UPMRC runs 25 permanent primary health care
centers, fourteen labs and numerous mobile health units. Its approach is
preventive, with an emphasis on education and participation. In February
2001, UPMRC won an award from the World Health Organization.
On 1 April 2002, Israeli tanks shelled the Ramouni Building in downtown
Ramallah and soldiers ordered all the inhabitants out of the building, which
houses a main office and emergency medical center of the Union of
Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (reported on Haaretz web site of the
same day) Doctors, staff and about fourteen Italian volunteers, including
Member of the European Parliament Louisa Morgantini, were detained by
soldiers; television footage showed some staff made to kneel in a nearby
parking lot. Soldiers entered the building and searched offices.
Damage: At least one shell entered the office of the UPMRC causing a wall to
collapse. The Director of UPMRC, Dr. Mustapha Barghouti, reported that most
equipment was destroyed, including computers and a photocopier. Access to
the Ramouni Building to access damage in more detail is restricted due to
continued army presence in the area. Other UPMRC facilities invaded by the
IDF on 31 March 2002 were the UPMRC Youth Club, the UPMRC Optometry Center,
and the UPMRC Technical Aid for the Disabled Center.

3. Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners, Ramallah
Description: Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners (named for Nelson
Mandela) was established in 1990 to provide assistance to political
prisoners. Its activities now include the provision of legal and material
aid to prisoners detained by both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities,
and to their families, and the training of Palestinian police forces in
human rights issues.
Type of Damage: The premises of Mandela were occupied for some days by the
Israeli Defense Forces. The following is reported by a member of Mandela's
Board of Directors, who was able to make one visit to the office during the
lifting of curfew.

1. External damage The external metal doors to the building, in which
Mandela's offices are housed, were blown up and completely destroyed
2. Internal damage  VANDALISM : The offices were completely vandalized.
Computers (3 counted) were thrown on the floor, broken furniture and files
from cabinets strewn across the floor. Soldiers blocked the toilets leading
to sewage over-spilling and ruining fitted carpets. Soldiers defecated in a
number of rooms -- the offices are filthy.
B. CONFISCATION: The hard drive of the main computer has been removed. Its
contents include Mandela's data base. Due to the imposition of curfew, it
has not been possible to check whether other files or documents have been
confiscated or destroyed.
C. STRUCTURAL DAMAGE: The IDF used Mandela's office to fire into other
buildings. As a result 5 office windows were completely destroyed, including
the aluminum frames. All internal doors, which were locked, were broken into
and badly damaged. .
Impact on work
Mandela has clearly suffered considerable financial loss due to the
destruction or damage to equipment, furnishings and physical structure. How
much data and documentation has been confiscated or damaged is impossible to
determine under the present curfew.

4. MATTIN Group (Human Rights)
Location: Main Street Ramallah

MATTIN Group is a voluntary partnership specializing in international human
rights and humanitarian law enforcement. It was occupied on March 29th by
the same armored infantry and sniper force that occupied al-Haq and HDIP,
which adjoin it in the same building.
The main entrance door of the office was torn down on the day after the army
had occupied the premises. Neighbors reported that a large force had entered
MATTIN's premises and were both carrying in and bringing out a large
quantity of unidentified objects.
During the lifting of the curfew on Tuesday, April 2, one of the senior
staff members of the organization attempted to gain entry into the office,
but was not permitted to do so. Based on a soldier's statement, all internal
doors, as well as the internal walls connecting MATTIN's space with al-Haq
and HDIP appear to have been broken down by the soldiers.
In addition to records, computers, and office equipment, among the archives
the office contains an irreplaceable collection of unpublished documents,
concerning International Humanitarian Law  related diplomacy and other
similarly important unpublished materials accumulated over a 19-year period.
On Monday, April 8, another attempt by a staff member to approach the office
was rebuffed by the army. The office building is blocked by barbed wire
which spans the street on which it is located, and always guarded by at
least two army vehicles, including tanks and APC's. Because nobody has been
allowed inside the premises, it is still unclear just how severe the damage
to the office is, and what has been vandalized, confiscated, and looted by
the occupation forces.

5. AL - HAQ Human Rights Organization

Location: Main Street Ramallah
Description: Founded in 1979, Al -Haq was the first Palestinian human rights
organization to be established in the occupied territories and is the West
Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. Through
activities, such as monitoring of human rights violations committed by both
the Israeli and Palestinian Authorities, it has a long and internationally
recognized role in promoting respect for human rights within Palestine.

 Type of Damage: This report was given by a staff member of al-Haq. It is
based on two quick visits he made to the offices when the curfew was lifted.
 External Damage: The two front doors broken open and badly damaged.

Internal Damage:
VANDALISM: Furniture broken and over-turned such as couch and  filing
cabinets. Content of filing cabinets scattered all over the floor; drawers
forced open and contents rummaged through or scattered 3 computers and one
printer thrown across floor and broken. Al-Haq has not yet had the
opportunity to inspect their laptops for damage

 SANCTIONED THEFT: As yet, can only confirm1 lap top computer stolen

CONFISCATION: Computer hard drives removed on a number of computers as well
as internal electronics likewise taken, leaving only the frame.

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE: One window smashed; 3 inner doors broken open and
damaged. Ceiling in places has been smashed from inside

Impact on work
Al Haq has been working for 24 years and has built up an extensive archive
of documents. The full extent of the impact of this vandalism on their work
depends largely on what can be salvaged from their records and documents.
These are scattered across the floors of their offices. Due to the curfew on
Ramallah, staff have not yet had the chance to see whether any papers or
documents are missing.

6. Ramallah YMCA (Branch of East Jerusalem YMCA)

The YMCAs offices in Ramallah serve not only young people in the town but it
also serves young people in the surrounding villages through its extensive
field programs. It runs a number of important programs for youth, including
vocational training for young women, vocational counseling for girls in
schools, and the career guidance for young people going into the workplace.
It also assists in constructing community youth centers in surrounding

(Based on preliminary reports issued by the YMCA Main Office in East
Jerusalem and based on accounts of people who either witnessed some of the
destruction, and staff who visited the premises briefly during the lifting
of curfew.  It has been impossible to make a full assessment of the damage
due to the ongoing curfew).

The YMCA's premises in Ramallah comprise three offices.The building is
designated by a large outdoor sign on the building.  On 8 April 2002 a
contingent of IDF forces blasted open the main entrance to YMCA building and
the guard's office. They badly destroyed the elevator and there was
extensive vandalism in a number of offices including destruction of
equipment (it seems computers, overheads and other training aids. Reporters
for NBC television living in a neighboring building tried to prevent the
destruction, by repeatedly telling the IDF forces that these were YWCA
premises, funded largely by USAID.  The soldiers ignored them and went on to
detonated the garage, destroying also the vehicles inside: one car and one
large van containing valuable educational material, which was used to tour
villages for educational work.

 7. Private Radio and TV Stations
The following is based on an on-site visit when the curfew lifted and
interviews with station managers undertaken by technical consultant to al
Quds educational Media, Wassim Abdullah and excerpted from an extensive
report that he wrote which is now posted at a website along with pictures of
the destruction. See

There are 5 private TV stations and 5 private radio stations in Ramallah, as
well as the official Palestinian authority radio and TV stations. Most of
these stations are located in and around the town center, an elevated area
suitable for maximum broadcasting
coverage. In the totality of the Palestinian Authority areas there are
almost 50 TV and radio stations, more than in any surrounding country. This
independent media was contributing to the building of civil society by
fostering an appreciation of free media, training in technical skills and
reporting, creating local programming, and developing an innovative sector.
The stations benefited from grants and support from the international and
local community.

A. Al Quds Educational Television
Location: on the third floor of the College of Nursing in al-Bireh, near the
entrance to Ramallah.
The TV station is operated by Al Quds University and broadcasts children's
programs in addition to public service announcements, medical information
and emergency services contact information. The institution was open and on
air with a cartoon show when Israeli soldiers broke in. Two staff operators
were held for several hours, eventually released and warned not to return.
Tanks and armored carriers are still on the campus of the college,
preventing anyone from entering. The station has remained off the air since
the takeover.
External destruction: The 40-watt relay TV transmitter and microwave
receiver atop the Bakri building in the Minara of Ramallah was destroyed.
Internal destruction: It is assumed that the state-of-the-art studio and
operations center have been completely destroyed, since soldiers
systematically destroyed almost all other TV stations in the
Ramallah-al-Bireh area. Contents of TV studio: cold lighting, super quiet
air conditioning system, cameras, audio and video mixers, players/recorders,
two AVID suites, a computer lab, microwave studio link and our new 250 watt
TV transmitter, a UPS, a comprehensive children, social and cultural library
of films, computers for the staff complete with audio, video and data
networks, office machines.
B. Al Nasr TV
Total destruction of equipment/extensive vandalism: Microphones, tapes,
CD's, monitors, mixers, players/recorders, etc were found spread over the
floor of the station and completely smashed by sledgehammers.
C. Manara radio station
Total destruction of equipment, extensive vandalism
D. Ajyal and Angham FM radio stations
Location: Bakri building, Ramallah center

The doorman of the building was forced to open the station door to soldiers
used sledgehammers to destroy the two studios, the internet streaming and
editing computers, the 10 Kw and 3 Kw transmitters and the entire music and
program library. Destruction was total.
E. Love and Peace FM radio station
Total destruction of equipment/extensive vandalism.
F. Al Quds FM radio station
The building in which it is located was bombarded and set ablaze. No one has
been able to enter the building to assess damage.
Also ceased broadcasting and feared destroyed: Amwaj TV, Amwaj radio and
Al-Watan TV. The buildings where they are situated are still occupied by
Israeli soldiers and no one has been able to enter to assess damage.

It has been extremely difficult to access information from most other towns
since they have remained under curfew without break since they were invaded.
Also, many re-occupied towns (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus etc..) have had no
electricity or phone lines for the past week). Below is information on
damages to governmental and non-governmental organizations in areas besides
Ramallah. All of the following information is very preliminary given that it
is based on information from people who have reached sites while the curfew
is still on and thus only a very quick picture could be drawn.


1.Municipality Building
Location: Manger Square
This report was made by an employee in the emergency services room set up in
the municipality building. He and another 15 emergency workers were in the
building when it was invaded by IDF troops. They were detained for a number
of hours within the building and then taken to a detention center where he
and others were subsequently released. The information he was able to
provide was based on his eyewitness account when the events were underway
and is very preliminary. The IDF continues to occupy the Municipality
building as of April 13th.

Destruction: There has been destruction of many external and internal doors,
as well as many windows smashed. A number of interior walls of the building
have been destroyed.
Destroyed/ vandalized furniture. Approximately twenty mobile stretchers were
taken from the premises; seven of them were returned severely damaged. Also
destroyed were three video cameras and a cassette inside one of them was

Anabta Village (Tulkarm District)
[Employees could make only an initial assessment of damage, due to the
ongoing curfew.]
1. Anabta Municipality
Number of staff: 60
External destruction
The entrance door was completely destroyed.
Internal destruction
VANDALISM: Just before the incursion, the municipality had transferred some
archeological artifacts from Tulkarm fearing that they might be destroyed;
half of the relocated collection was destroyed. The fire-alarm system, the
central telephone system and individual telephones were destroyed. Municipal
files were torn and thrown on the ground. The entire library, book shelves
and books, were thrown on the floor. Some desks were damaged.
SANCTIONED THEFT: Two municipal computers were taken. In the library, a
computer and a camera were taken.
CONFISCATION: All of the municipality's floppy disks were removed.
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE: The windows and doors were broken.
(Information supplied by Mayor,Hamdallah Hamdallah; who has photos and a
detailed report on the destruction.)
2. The Anabta Women's Charitable Organization
This charitable organization has a staff of 11 and offers health services
and social and cultural activities for women, provides relief for the poor
and outreach for the elderly, in addition to operating a preschool (230
children) and daycare (10 infants).
External damage
The outside wall was blown up with explosives, which also damaged the
building. The gate had several bullet or shrapnel holes in it.
Internal destruction
VANDALISM: There was a great deal of superficial damage. All of the glass
was found broken.
(Information provided by Itaf Al-Qabbaji )

1. General Union of Palestinian Women, Tulkarim
The Tulkarim branch of the GUPW is engaged in promoting and marketing
embroidery and other traditional handicrafts produced by village women in
the area.
External destruction
The door was blown open with explosives.
Internal destruction
VANDALISM: All drawers were apparently searched and all files were opened.
The office equipment appeared to be intact. Embroidery had been strewn all
over the floor and stepped on.
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE : Windows were broken.
(Information supplied by Fawziyyeh Yahya Aboud)

2. Rawdat Abna' Al-Ghad
This is a preschool with 6 employees serving 70 children.
External destruction Main door destroyed.
Internal destruction
VANDALISM: All of the children's the toys were thrown on the ground and many
smashed. The wall-to-wall carpeting has been ripped and in some places
removed, the small puppet theater was destroyed.
(Information supplied by Fawziyyeh Yahya Aboud)