HaMoked to the military: remove the checkpoint at the entrance to the village of 'Azzun 'Atma המוקד להגנת הפרט
02.04.2014
HaMoked to the military: remove the checkpoint at the entrance to the village of 'Azzun 'Atma
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Since 2003, the Israeli military has been imposing a permit regime on West Bank areas trapped between the separation wall and the Green Line, dubbing them the "seam zone". Any Palestinian who lives in these areas or seeks to arrive there must first obtain a military permit. The village of 'Azzun 'Atma was declared part of the seam zone, although the building of the wall planned to encircle it has not yet been completed. Because of its location, Israel had restricted Palestinians' access to the village for years.

In 2013, after several years of unrestricted access to 'Azzun 'Atma, the military reoperated the checkpoint at the village entrance, imposing restrictions on Palestinian residents seeking entry to the village.

On January 14, 2014, HaMoked contacted the Commander of the Military Forces in the West Bank demanding the obstruction's removal. HaMoked noted in its letter that since the reactivation of the checkpoint, only people registered as residents of 'Azzun 'Atma or the two adjacent villages, have been allowed immediate access to the village; that restricting access to the village gravely impedes the 'Azzun 'Atma residents' ability to conduct their routine lives; that access, inter alia, by suppliers of goods and services – including electricity and cooking gas – has been limited; that even the physician who lives in Qalqiliya and works at the only health center in the village, has been required to coordinate his arrival to the village each time anew. Thus, the checkpoint violates the village residents' rights to freedom of movement, freedom of occupation, family life, health, property, and dignity.

The military claimed in response that the matter was being considered and would soon be decided. Seventy two days after it sent its letter to the military, HaMoked sent a pre-petition letter to the State Attorney's Office, demanding the immediate removal of the checkpoint, or, alternatively, that its continued operation be justified.
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