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8 Apr, 2016

85 Checkpoints: Israel’s Travel Curbs on Palestinians Violate 4th Geneva Convention

RAMALLAH, April 7, 2016 (WAFA) – Increasing Israeli checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian Territories punish the entire Palestinian population, which is a form of collective punishment, and therefore violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement Thursday.

The statement said: “In addition to the 85 fixed checkpoints in the West Bank, hundreds of “flying” checkpoints were erected each month, making travel between Palestinian towns and villages almost impossible.”

PMO added that in East Jerusalem alone, 16 new checkpoints and 20 new roadblocks have been added since last October, “curtailing the access of approximately 138,000 residents to work, school and medical treatment,” according to the UN report.

Since October 2015, Israel has further restricted the free movement of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to a recent report issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council, Israel has increased the number of checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian territories, adding more physical constrains that permeate almost all sides of Palestinian everyday life.

“Furthermore, Israel’s policy is based on ethno-national origin and blatant discrimination, since these restrictions apply only to Palestinians, but not to Jewish settlers,” Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communication and Media at the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“International human rights law requires Israel to respect the right of the occupied to move about freely in their homeland. This right is recognized in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the statement concluded.