As part of the continuing Israeli threats made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against civilians in occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the decision to withdraw the Jerusalemite ID from thousands of Palestinian civilians, the Israeli forces have continued to implement more punitive measures and retaliatory acts against Palestinians in the city. Under the pretext of security deterioration since early October, the Israeli authorities started imposing additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs and villages. These measures included fixing iron detector gates and police checkpoints inside the Old City neighborhoods and at entrances leading to them. In a latest development, Israeli forces closed the entrances to a number of the city’s suburbs and villages.
According to field investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in occupied East Jerusalem, the checkpoints were distributed as follows:
- Al-Amoud gate: three checkpoints established at the entrance to al-Amoud gate;
- Al-Wad Road: 10 checkpoints with three iron detector gates mainly established by the end of al-Wad Road, al-Majles gate, and between al-Hadid and al-Qattanin gates;
- Al-Selsela gate: six checkpoints with an iron detector gate mainly established 100 meters away from al-Selsela gate, the road leading to al-Buraq Wall and the road leading to the Jewish Quarter “Misgav Ladach”;
- Al-Bazar road: police officers stationed at the entrances leading to the Christian neighborhood and on Marcus road;
- Hebron gate: a checkpoint established at the entrance to Omer Bin al-Khattab yard and another checkpoint with an iron detector gate established inside the aforementioned yard;
- Al-Debagha market: a checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Debagha market that also leads to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre;
- Aqabet al-Khalediya: police officers stationed at the entrance to Aqabet al-Khalediya neighborhood;
- Al-Asbat gate: a checkpoint with an iron detector gate established in the yard outside the Old City walls;
- The Way of Sorrows: police officers stationed near al-Naqshabandiya Mosque;
- Aqabet Darweesh: police officers stationed at the entrance to Aqabet Darweesh neighborhood and others stationed on the roof of a house belonging to al-Salayma family.
- Al-Sa’diya neighborhood: police officers stationed on the road leading to the neighborhood and others stationed on roofs of a number of houses seized by Israeli settlers in the neighborhood;
- Al-Sahera gate: police officers stationed in the yard outside the Old City walls.
Note: these checkpoints do not include police checkpoints that already exist at al-Aqsa Mosque gates
Checkpoints in the city’s suburbs and villages were as follows:
- Al-Tour: Salman al-Faresi street, al-Hardoub’s two neighborhoods are completely closed and two checkpoints are established near al-Muttale’ Hospital and the main entrance of al-Hardoub neighborhood;
- Silwan: al-Rababa valley neighborhood is completely closed and two checkpoints are established in al-Rababa valley and al-Ein area;
- Al-Thawri neighborhood: the streets between Abu Tour and al-Thawri neighborhood is completely closed and two checkpoints are established on Hebron- Bethlehem street and the main entrance of the city;
- Ras al-Amoud: a checkpoint is established on the main street and another checkpoint is established between Ras al-Amoud and the neighborhoods of Qaddoum valley, Silwan and al-Mukaber Mountain;
- Al-‘Issawiyah: the entrance to the French Hill; entrance to Hadasa-Hebrew University; Sub-entrance near a gas station are completely closed and there is a police checkpoint at the eastern entrance to the village.
- Sour Baher: the street to “Ramat Rachel” is completely closed and there are two police checkpoints at the entrance to Ghozail neighborhood and the main entrance to Sour Baher.
- Al-Jouz Valley: there is a police checkpoint at the intersection of the Interior Ministry Office.
- Al-Sheikh Jarrah: Kupat Holim Clalit is completely closed and there are two checkpoints near al-‘Ayoun Hospital and al-Hayah Medical Center.
- Al-Mukaber Mountain: al-Farouq neighborhood; the entrance to the schools neighborhood; the entrance to “Armon HaNetziv” settlement are completely closed; and there are two police checkpoints to “Nahal Oz” and “Nof Zion” settlements.
- Um Touba: is completely closed in addition to closing three sub-entrances.
PCHR strongly condemns the collective punishment policy practiced by the Israeli government in occupied Jerusalem before the international community and:
- Emphasizes that East Jerusalem is an occupied city and all the measures taken by the Israeli authorities after the city was occupied in 1967 do not change its legal status as an occupied territory. Thus, displacing Abu Jamal family from Jerusalem is considered a forcible displacement and is part of the policy of collective punishment practiced against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt);
- The Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to isolate Palestinian civilians residing in the city and its suburbs violates the basic rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law; and
- Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community encourages Israel to commit more violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including measures to create a Jewish demographic majority in occupied East Jerusalem.