HaMoked in urgent petition: lift the roadblock on the only road between Al Mas'udiya and Burqa, which severely disrupts daily life for the neighborhood המוקד להגנת הפרט
07.03.2022
HaMoked in urgent petition: lift the roadblock on the only road between Al Mas'udiya and Burqa, which severely disrupts daily life for the neighborhood
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In December 2021, the Israeli military blocked the only entrance to Al Mas'udiya neighborhood, an isolated part of the village of Burqa, connected to the rest of the village by one three-kilometer-long stretch of road. This road to Al Mas'udiya was blocked following a fatal shooting of an Israeli at the Homesh junction. The small neighborhood has no stores or health clinic, and hardly any workplaces or services. The residents’ daily lives are entirely dependent on accessing the rest of Burqa and the city of Nablus. Ever since the military blocked the road, the residents have hardly left the neighborhood or even their homes due to persistent harassment by Israeli settlers living nearby.    

On March 6, 2022, HaMoked urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to remove the roadblock to enable cars to reach Al Mas’udiya. HaMoked wrote in the petition that the roadblock drastically infringed on the residents’ freedom of movement, bringing normal life almost to a halt because of the inability to drive a car in and out of the neighborhood, compounded by the threat of violence by settlers towards those walking in the neighborhood. The petitioners stressed the difficulties and risks involved in receiving medical care under such conditions, especially as ambulances cannot enter the neighborhood. Real-life examples were given demonstrating how access to medical care had become problematic, stressful and even humiliating, and extremely time consuming. Moreover, many of the neighborhood children missed days of school, until parents came up with the burdensome solution of accompanying their children on a muddy path to bypass the roadblock to reach family members or taxi drivers who could drive the children to school and back.  This intolerable situation led at least one family to arrange for the children to sleep at their grandparents in the main part of Burqa on schooldays. The petition includes other examples of the disruption of life caused by the roadblock, such as difficulties in delivering building materials and fodder for livestock to the neighborhood.  Additionally, garbage collection has stopped since the road was blocked, and the residents must find ways to dispose of their garbage or even burn it, despite the resultant air pollution. 

HaMoked asserted that the roadblock was a severe, sweeping and disproportionate violation of the right to freedom of movement of protected persons who had done nothing wrong. Furthermore, this also constitutes a severe violation of the right to human dignity, which encompasses the right to a dignified minimum existence and the right to education.  

HaMoked also filed a petition to the Court to enable Palestinians to drive on the main road linking Nablus to Jenin, which was also restricted following the Homesh shooting attack.

* Following the roadblock's removal in the second half of March, the petition was deleted with the parties' consent.

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