A Complete Blockage of Villages in the West Bank
Since the beginning of the war, the army has placed various roadblocks on access roads to several villages in the West Bank. These blockades do not allow vehicular traffic and at times even impede pedestrian movement. The blockades isolate the villagers, infringe upon their basic rights, and even endanger their lives. Together with a local association, we appealed to the Central Command Officer, requesting the removal of the blockades on access roads to three villages - Walaja, Kur, and Al-Khaf. We argued that even in challenging wartime days like these, there is no justification for the complete closure of a village, particularly one situated far from combat zones. The confinement of its residents within, the severance from the outside world for extended periods, and the widespread infringement on their rights cannot be justified.
Attorney Roni Pelli emphasized that the human impact of restricting freedom of movement significantly affects all aspects of residents' lives: it severely hinders the supply of food and water, entry of teachers and medical professionals, or evacuation of patients from the villages. Pelli stressed that the complete blockades of the villages constitute a grave breach of the military commander's obligations towards the civilian population and a violation of the absolute prohibition of collective punishment under international law.
Following our appeal, the blockade was removed from the village of Walaja.