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  • ACRI

To Open Routes to the Village of Kafr Qara

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the organization Bimkom filed a petition to the Supreme Court on November 16, 2023, together with two residents of the village of Kafr Qara, protesting against the hermetic closure of the village, preventing both exit and entry by car or on foot. Since the outbreak of the war, soldiers have been stationed on the road between Kafr Qara and Tullet, which passes near the Almattan compound. This road is blocked with concrete blocks and only allows pedestrian passage, and they do not permit vehicle passage through it. Additionally, the army has forbidden residents from passing by car on the second road to the village and from it, which passes through the settlement gate above Shomron.

In the petition, it is argued that the restriction on the residents' access to and from the village, both by car and on foot, infringes upon their fundamental rights to freedom of movement, water and food, livelihood and dignity, health, family life, and property. The residents are facing a real crisis and severe shortage of clean water and food, with no access to medical care and medication, and without food for their animals. Furthermore, the petition argues that the closure of Kafr Qara residents goes beyond the authority of the military commander, is tainted with forbidden discrimination on national grounds, lacks extreme necessity, is not proportional, and is in contradiction to international law.

Following a hearing on the petition, representatives of the petitioners and the state went to the area in January 2024 to examine the accessibility of an alternative route to the village.

On March 12, 2024, the High Court of Justice rejected the petition, after the military lifted the foot roadblock that had imposed a complete closure on the villagers. The court refrained from granting the petitioners relief regarding the passage of vehicles to and from the village. However, Justice Amit addressed the harassment of Palestinians by soldiers and settlers in the area and the conduct of the authorities: "It is not enough to sharpen procedures, but to make sure that the instructions get to the field and the soldiers act according to them. The State of Israel is in difficult and complex times. The tense reality requires security measures and the imposition of restrictions, but this does not detract from the responsibility of the military commander for the safety and property of the protected residents."

HCJ 8227/23 Roni Pelli v. Commander of IDF Forces in the West Bank

Attorney: Roni Pelli


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