HaMoked to the military: permanent Israeli residents living in A-Sheikh Sa’ed neighborhood must be allowed to reach Jerusalem; the checkpoint’s closure puts their lives and health at risk
On April 6, 2020, HaMoked urgently wrote to the military following the closure of A-Sheikh Sa'ed checkpoint, located between the village of Jabal Al Mukabber – annexed by Israel and within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem – and the neighborhood of A-Sheikh Sa'ed checkpoint – not included in the annexation and artificially severed from East Jerusalem by the separation wall. Some 500 East Jerusalem residents, holders of Israeli identity cards, live in the neighborhood, which is a direct continuation of the village. The neighborhood has no grocery store, bakery or health clinic and the residents depend almost entirely on the city of Jerusalem for basic necessities, like stores, schools, workplaces and health care facilities.
Before the movement restrictions were imposed to curb the spread of covid-19, permanent residents living in A-Sheikh Sa’ed crossed the checkpoint on a daily basis, and even after, they were allowed to pass through for permitted purposes. However, since April 4, 2020, they are no longer allowed through, and cannot reach Jerusalem for vital needs such as buying food and receiving medical care. This is a disproportionate violation of their right to human dignity and freedom of movement, and above all, their right to life and bodily integrity.
HaMoked clarified that if A-Sheikh Sa'ed checkpoint remains closed, a court petition may follow.
* Later that month the checkpoint was opened for passage of permanent residents.