Freedom of movement is a universal right to every human being. Everyone has the right to leave any country including his own, and has the right to return to his country. Furthermore everybody has the right to move freely within their own country; however, since the occupation of Palestine, Israel have practiced a system of severe restrictions on the freedom of movement on Palestinians in various forms : Closures of entire neighborhoods, imposing curfews and blockades, implementing checkpoints (temporary and permanent checkpoints) in addition to building the annexation wall. Such restrictions imposed on Palestinians are made under the pretext of “security”, and while normally they came as a stand out policy of the Israeli occupation, these measures come also in a punitive form when they are responsive to an alleged attack, and can result in the closures of entire towns.
When Palestinians from the West Bank want to leave the occupied territories – even to Jerusalem - they are confronted with discriminative profiling and their application for permits is easily refused. In addition to permit refusal, Israeli forces impose “Security Ban” and “Travel Ban” on individuals and entire families due to “security” reasons.
The Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights works on cases related to freedom of movement in its different aspects: Permit requests, travel and security bans, blockades and closures etc.
The Palestinian citizen (M.T), holder of a family unification permit, recently approached St. Yves after Israeli authorities issued a security ban against him and confiscated his work permit in Jerusalem. (M.T) has been going through a legal battle against Israeli authorities for years trying to annul this ban in vain. This ban has put him and his family under a very difficult financial and social pressure. St. Yves corresponded with Israeli authorities requesting they reveal the reasons behind the ban imposed on (M.T); the response communicated to St. Yves was that the presence of the citizen (M.T) represented a “threat to the security and sustainability of the area and the inhabitants of the area”. St. Yves’ lawyer then lodged the case to the court. Israeli authorities tried to settle the case by offering different deals which were declined by St. Yves. Upon insistence on pursuing the case, Israeli authorities annulled the security ban imposed on (M.T).