The state again postpones the deadline for ending the roadworks and opening the DCO Checkpoint for Palestinian vehicles: HaMoked reasserts that the state should consider opening the Checkpoint before the completion of the roadworks המוקד להגנת הפרט
29.05.2015
The state again postpones the deadline for ending the roadworks and opening the DCO Checkpoint for Palestinian vehicles: HaMoked reasserts that the state should consider opening the Checkpoint before the completion of the roadworks
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Following HaMoked’s petition to the HCJ to open the DCO Checkpoint linking the cities of Ramallah and Al Birah with the communities lying to the east, on December 14, 2014, the state announced that it would open the Checkpoint in the direction of Ramallah and al-Birah to unrestricted Palestinian traffic, rather than just a limited number of vehicles owned by VIP card holders, as was done thus far. However, the state declared that in the opposite direction, travel through the checkpoint would only be allowed once the development works in Intersection 90 were completed.

In its updating notice, filed three months later, the state announced it intended to remove an additional roadblock in the area, near the village of Beitin, but did not address the option of opening the DCO Checkpoint before the end of the works at Intersection 90.

In its response, dated March 26, 2015, HaMoked held that the removal of the Beitin roadblock would only be relevant if the DCO Checkpoint opened for traffic from Ramallah and al-Birah. HaMoked pointed out that the state kept procrastinating, and so requested the court to instruct the state to submit an additional updating notice a few weeks hence, at the end of the planning phase, and not, as the state had requested, in six months’ time.

In its notice from May 5, 2015, the state continued in a similar vein and announced that “there is a difficulty in identifying an accurate date for the completion of works in Intersection 90”, and that the end of the project depended on the approval of the annual budget and was expected to be delayed by six months. The state reiterated that unrestricted Palestinian traffic through the DCO Checkpoint from Ramallah and al-Birah would be allowed only after the end of the development works at Intersection 90, and claimed this was due to the threat of security-related incidents occurring in the busy road network near the Checkpoint.

HaMoked countered that the state kept postponing the schedule it had initially committed to. HaMoked again demanded that the state consider opening the Checkpoint before ending the roadworks, and stressed that preventing traffic from Ramallah and al-Birah on this route harmed hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents.

The court instructed the state to submit its response by December 1, 2015.
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