Checkpoints all over occupied palastine. Christians and Muslims suffer under the Israeli occupation every day.
In the last forty years (1967-2008) of full scale Israeli military occupation in the Palestinian territories (the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank), Israel has implemented a policy of movement restrictions including checkpoints, earth mounds, trenches, gates, roadblocks, bypass roads and the Wall.
- From 1967 to 1991, restrictions on the movement of Palestinians were relatively light. However, with the beginning of the first Intifada in 1987, Israel increasingly restricted Palestinians freedom of movement by implementing a permit system. In 1988, it began preventing Palestinians from travelling between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
- From 1991-2000, with the start of the Gulf War, the Israeli Military implemented restrictions on the permit system. Every Palestinian was required to obtain an individual permit, instead of general permits that applied to the population as a whole. In 1993, Israeli military checkpoints were established along the 1949 Armistice Line between the West Bank and Israel; between the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and between cities within the West Bank.
- From the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, the Israeli Military increasingly restricted Palestinians from moving freely. Physical blockades were set up by the army between Palestinian villages, permits denied and curfews imposed across the West Bank and Gaza. In 2001 it became illegal for Israeli citizens to travel into Area A (areas under full Palestinian control) of the West Bank.
- From 2002 to the present, closure policies have substantially tightened and the entry of Palestinian workers into Israel has drastically decreased.
- In January 2004, restriction of movement peaked at 763 points of closure in the West Bank alone, consisting of military checkpoints, partial military checkpoints, earth mounds, earth walls, trenches, roadblocks and gates.
Freedom of Movement and Economics
- The restrictions on freedom of movement that Israel has imposed on Palestinians since the outbreak of the second Intifada are the primary cause of the decline of the Palestinian economy and chronic increases in unemployment and poverty across the Occupied Territories.
- A report by the World Bank published in May 2007 stated that economic recovery and sustainable growth within the West Bank would ...require a fundamental reassessment of closure practices, a restoration of the presumption of movement, and review of Israeli control of the population registry and other means of dictating the residency of Palestinians within the West Bank and Gaza.
- Trade routes from the northern West Bank to Nablus and further to the south or into the Jordan Valley have been severed for northern residents. Vendors of perishable products such as vegetables and fruit have no access to markets. Yet the sale of agricultural products has become particularly important and is one of the few economic alternatives for the increasing number of unemployed who previously worked in Israel.
Freedom of Movement and Access to Healthcare
- Restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians have seriously affected their access to medical care, including emergency medical treatment.
- Many villages are cut off from major urban centers and therefore hospitals and medical specialists. With no alternative route available, Palestinians in these areas are forced to travel through checkpoints to access medical treatment, whether it is routine or urgent.
- Soldiers at checkpoints consistently stop ambulances and patients. Human rights organizations and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society have reported 117 deaths and 31 stillbirths as a result of preventing medical personnel and patients from crossing checkpoints.
Video Tags: Christians