HaMoked to the Military: during the current corona disaster, preventing people living in the Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the separation wall from reaching the rest of the city puts the lives of thousands at risk, citizens, residents and stay-permit holders alike
On March 24, 2020, HaMoked sent an urgent letter to the military’s civil administration following complaints it had received in recent days from Palestinians taking part in procedures of family unification with Israeli residents, with whom they live in the neighborhoods that are part of the Jerusalem municipal area, but lie beyond the Separation Wall. The complainants reported that although they have valid permits of stay in Israel, on arriving at the Qalandia and Shu'fat RC checkpoints, through which they must pass in order to reach the rest of the city, the soldiers on duty prevented them from continuing on their way.
HaMoked clarified that a person undergoing a family unification procedure and holding a valid stay permit, must be allowed to maintain family life in a reasonable manner, such that includes the right to life, the right to family life and freedom of movement. It is the duty of the civil administration – and the other authorities concerned – to protect these rights, especially during the current corona pandemic.
HaMoked reminded the civil administration that East Jerusalem and the neighborhood beyond the wall in particular suffer from ingrained lack of vital services, the result of years of deliberate neglect on part of the various Israeli authorities. Consequently, the civil administration now has a heightened obligation to allow all those living in these neighborhoods the freedom to reach the rest of the city, where they can obtain food supplies and medical treatment, reach their places of work and so on. This, stressed HaMoked, regardless of whether they are Israeli citizens or residents or holders of stay permits.
HaMoked stressed in conclusion that above all, the unofficial policy of the civil administration literally puts at risk the lives of thousands of people living in these neighborhoods. This policy must be reversed immediately so that all those living in there are allowed to reach the areas west of the Separation Wall in order to obtain vital services, the same as the rest of the population of Israel.