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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
27 September 2011



    UNITED NATIONS
    Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    occupied Palestinian territory

MOVEMENT AND ACCESS IN THE WEST BANK

التنقل والوصول في الضفة الغربية - ورقة حقائق

September 2011


FAST FACTS
522 roadblocks and checkpoints obstruct Palestinian movement in the West Bank, compared to 503 in July 2010.

So far in 2011, an additional 495 ad-hoc ‘flying’ checkpoints obstructed movement around the West Bank each month (on average), compared to 351 in the past two years.

200,000 people from 70 villages are forced to use detours between two to five times longer than the direct route to their closest city due to movement restrictions.

One or more of the main entrances are blocked to Palestinian traffic in ten out of eleven major West Bank cities.

Palestinians holding West Bank IDs require entry permits to enter East Jerusalem and are limited to using four of the 16 checkpoints along the Barrier.

62 percent of the Barrier is completed, with 80 percent of the Barrier route built inside the West Bank, with highly limited access to areas behind the Barrier.

Four of the five roads into the Jordan Valley are not accessible to most Palestinian vehicles.

Almost 80 percent of land in the Jordan Valley is off-limits to Palestinians, with the land designated for Israeli settlements, ‘firing zones’ and ‘nature reserves’.

122 closure obstacles shut off the Old City of Hebron from the rest of the city.

Palestinian access to their private land around 55 Israeli settlements is highly restricted.



1. The civilian population of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) must be allowed to enjoy basic rights guaranteed in international law, including the right to freedom of movement and choice of residence, as well as the right to an adequate standard of living, adequate housing and access to education and healthcare. The Israeli authorities should facilitate the movement of civilians by removing checkpoints and obstacles not necessary for legitimate security purposes.

2. Most movement restrictions in the West Bank were introduced following the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 as temporary measures to contain Palestinian violence. The majority of these have remained in place despite a significant improvement in the security situation, and close cooperation between security forces of the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

3. Despite improvements in the past three years, Palestinians still face difficulties accessing main urban centres in the West Bank. Most Palestinian traffic is funnelled onto secondary and often lower-quality routes affecting their access to services and livelihoods.

4. Access to East Jerusalem is severely restricted by the Barrier, checkpoints and a permit system. This situation has a particularly negative impact on patients and medical staff, who need to access the six specialised hospitals in East Jerusalem, providing services unavailable elsewhere in the oPt. This system also impedes access to Muslim and Christian places of worship in East Jerusalem.

5. Palestinian access to large rural areas in the West Bank is restricted by physical obstacles and bureaucratic requirements. This includes areas located between the Barrier and the Green Line, the Jordan Valley (30 percent of the West Bank), and agricultural land near Israeli settlements, with a severe impact on access to livelihoods and basic services.

6. Most of the movement restrictions imposed on Palestinians aim to protect the 500,000 Israeli settlers living in settlements established in contravention of international humanitarian law, aim to secure land for expansion of settlements, and to improve their connections with Israel.






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