HaMoked to the Minister of Defense: immediately remove the sweeping ban on travel of Palestinians from the West Bank abroad המוקד להגנת הפרט
13.08.2014
HaMoked to the Minister of Defense: immediately remove the sweeping ban on travel of Palestinians from the West Bank abroad
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During the past two months, HaMoked has been contacted by an increasing number of West Bank Palestinians, whose departure abroad has been prevented by Israel. The majority are Palestinians who reside abroad, who came to the West Bank during Ramadan and ahead of the Id al-Fitr holiday on a family visit; when they sought to travel back abroad – via the Allenby Bridge Crossing (the only gateway abroad allowed for Palestinians in the West Bank) – were prevented by Israel from leaving for Jordan. Thus it seems that in the past two months a sweeping ban has been imposed on travel abroad by Palestinians from the West Bank, including those who work or study there.

Following the numerous requests for assistance HaMoked received from individuals who had sought to leave for Jordan but had to turn back, HaMoked sent an urgent letter to the Minister of Defense demanding the ban be lifted immediately.

In the letter, HaMoked raises concerns that Israel is imposing collective punishment on the residents of the West Bank, and recalls that such punishment is absolutely prohibited under international law. HaMoked also protests against the blanket application of the ban, as it violates Palestinians' basic right to travel out of their country. HaMoked stresses that even in times of emergency, it is necessary to balance between security needs and fundamental rights.

HaMoked further clarifies that the sweeping ban does not serve any security need, given that all those who travel through the crossing are identified and searched, without any exception. Finally, HaMoked demands that the military publish the order under which the sweeping restrictions are imposed, and provide solutions in cases of humanitarian emergency.
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