Closing the Checkpoints Around Jerusalem to Palestinian Entry
On October 7, 2023, following Hamas' attack on southern settlements and the outbreak of the war, the checkpoints around Jerusalem, prohibiting the passage of vehicles and pedestrians, were closed. The closure of the checkpoints imposed a siege on tens of thousands of people, residents of Kafr Aqab, the Shuafat Refugee Camp, Dahiyat al-Salam, Ras Hamis, Ras Shehadeh, and Bir Onah, living in the Jerusalem municipal area, in neighborhoods beyond the separation barrier. Many of them hold Israeli status or have documented Israeli ties, as permanent residents, in agricultural communities or entry permits. Normally, many enter Jerusalem daily for employment, education, healthcare, welfare, prayer, shopping, and accessing various services. In the days following, some of the checkpoints were partially opened, while others remained closed.
On October 12, 2023, we appealed (Hebrew) to authorities in the Ministry of Security and to the Jerusalem Police District Commander to open the checkpoints for the entry of Palestinian Israeli residents. The appeal described the severe consequences of the closure on the neighborhoods and the infringement on residents' rights. The appeal stated, "Such a sweeping prevention of freedom of movement and a severe infringement on the broad human rights of tens of thousands of residents is not lawful. Even during wartime, the state is not authorized to treat them as enemies and impose full or partial closure on them... It is an immediate violation of the human rights of tens of thousands of people, a collective and forbidden punishment."
On October 16, 2023, we sent another appeal (Hebrew), requesting to allow passage through the checkpoints around Jerusalem for individuals residing in Israel under family unification permits after passing through rigorous security and law enforcement checks. The prohibition leads to the confinement of thousands of people in their residential neighborhoods, even if all the checkpoints are open, without authority and justification. After a week, as problems at the checkpoints persisted, we appealed (Hebrew) to the Center for the Protection of Privacy again.
On November 7, 2023, we petitioned to the Supreme Court (High Court of Justice) along with the Center for the Protection of Privacy, the City of Amim, and the residents of Kafr Aqab.
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