Deepening Restrictions: Palestinians Under Tightened Travel and Security Bans

  • Date: 2024-03-20

Deepening Restrictions: Palestinians Under Tightened Travel and Security Bans

20/03/2024

 

Freedom of movement is a basic universal right to every human being. Human beings including Palestinians have a right to travel freely within their country, leave and come back whenever they want. Ever since the Nakba during 1948, the movement and access of Palestinians have been controlled by the Israeli occupation for the purpose of controlling the lives of Palestinians under the pretext of security. The total number of obstacles in the West Bank is 694.

Since October 7th 49 new access obstacles were enforced, 100 of the previously existing obstacles changed status.  The entry of Palestinians from the West Bank (WB) into occupied East Jerusalem and Israel was prohibited. Under Israeli military control, Palestinians with WB ID cards need to obtain a special permit to enter Jerusalem/Areas inside the Greenline and Seam Zone or to travel overseas.

Thousands of Palestinians across the WB suddenly receive "Security Bans" This prevents Palestinians across the WB from entering East Jerusalem, areas inside the Greenline & Seam zone.

There are 4 main types of security bans. During the year 2023 the Society of Saint Yves assisted over 1700 Palestinians with security bans, there are 4 main types of security bans:

  1. Travel Bans

Palestinians from the West Bank are not allowed to have their own airport and if they wish to fly abroad, they must travel to Jordan first through Allenby Bridge crossing, and from there continue to an airport in Jordan (Amman)[1]. Over the years, thousands of Palestinians have arrived at Allenby Bridge crossing, unaware that they were barred from travel, and thus unable to travel. Since October 7th, Society of Saint Yves have been unable to repeal travel bans and help Palestinians lift their travel bans. Palestinians should be able to visit their loved ones, get medical treatment, study abroad, go on vacation, work abroad freely. The work of the Society of Saint Yves has been hindered, as we can no longer send appeals to the Civil Administration, nor can we go to court to lift travel bans.  The cessation of this option has dire consequences, significantly impeding the lives of thousands of Palestinians. They are now unable to travel, forcing them to place their aspirations on hold or even endanger their lives, especially those seeking medical treatment abroad.

  1. Security ban issued by General Security Services

Israel denies most Palestinians in the West Bank the ability to travel to occupied East Jerusalem and inside Israel to visit family, friends, do business or workshop at its holy sites. Since October 7th of last year, the Israeli Civil Administration refuses to handle any of our appeals to lift security bans.

  1. Security Ban Issued by Israeli police.

This access and movement ban is issued to Palestinians either convicted for a criminal offense or suspected of committing a criminal offense. It is important to note that we can still send appeals to the police to lift these security bans.

  1. Security Ban issued by Special operations department (AGAM) via Israeli occupying army.

This type of security ban can and is imposed on whole communities and areas as a form of collective punishment. If a person that commits a violent attack is from X village and his last name is Y. All the people form the village X and his family members or people with the same last name will have security ban that hinders their ability to access East Jerusalem and Israel.

The current practice of imposing security bans and travel without an established avenue for Society of Saint Yves to appeal is leading Palestinians are unfairly restricted from exercising their human rights especially the right to movement.

The Society of Saint Yves calls upon Israel that they as an occupying power:

  1. Israel must abide by its obligations under international law especially regarding the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations and the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights.
  2. Cease all measures and policies that contribute to the fragmentation of the occupied population and occupied land including East Jerusalem.
  3. Refrain from any other form collective punishment and coercive environment against the protected Palestinian population.
  4. Israel must provide individuals with a notice that they have a security ban and reason for the security ban. Individuals also should be able to appeal security bans and travel bans!
  5. Allow Access for Palestinians to East Jerusalem to get medical treatment at hospitals, access Churches and Mosques for prayer and practice their right to religion freely.

 

-End-

 

[1] They must plan ahead as it is not open 24/7, they have to stay for another night at the hotel ahead of their flight, they have to pay additional travel costs, crossing fees that make the journey a very difficult one.