Additional West Bank Internal Closures

18 October 2005

Overview

Following two separate attacks by Palestinian militants that killed three Israeli settlers and wounded six others in the West Bank on Sunday 16 October 2005, the IDF and Border Police tightened internal closures in the West Bank.

By 12:00 hours Tuesday 18 October the status of main internal movement restrictions:

  • Palestinian public transport (taxis and buses) were allowed to travel only along Road No. 60 between Halhul (north of Hebron city) to the Husan-Al Khadr junction (south of Bethlehem).

  • A complete restriction remains in place for all private Palestinians vehicles along the entire length of Road No. 60 (Bethlehem – Hebron) and No. 317 (south Hebron).

  • A flying checkpoint is operational at Jaba’ (Geva Binyamin) junction (north of Jerusalem) on Road No. 60 to prevent Palestinian vehicles traveling along the road.

  • A complete restriction for all Palestinian vehicles along Road No. 465 (north of Ramallah).

The tightened internal closures in the southern West Bank have resulted in three Palestinian areas being isolated:

  • Residents of western Bethlehem villages including villages of Husan, Battir and Al Walaja (approximately 16,000 Palestinians) can only leave the area on foot.

  • All closures around the city of Hebron (170,000 Palestinians) for Palestinians have been closed.

  • Yatta (south Hebron) and its surrounding villages (approximately 70,000 Palestinians) cannot access Roads No. 60 and 317 linking the town to other areas of the West Bank.

Main closure restrictions (see Map attached)

  • The Beit Jala DCO checkpoint in Bethlehem has been closed for all vehicles. It is manned by the IDF and Palestinians are only able to cross the checkpoint on foot. This checkpoint is used by Palestinians as an access point to Jerusalem, for travel between Bethlehem and Hebron and linking a number of Palestinianp villages to the west of Bethlehem.

  • Both sides of the Husan-Al Khadr intersection along Road No. 60 have been closed off by road blocks (the Al Khader side was previously blocked but this closure has now been reinforced).

  • The Efrat checkpoint has been re-established by the IDF. The checkpoint restricts access to Road No. 60 from eastern Bethlehem.

  • The Al Jab'a – Surif junction across Road No. 367 has been closed with road blocks.

  • The southern access road to Nahalin along Road No. 367 is now monitored (and restricted) by an IDF patrol.

  • The Gush Etzion roadblock is only monitoring traffic coming from the south along Road No. 60 and is allowing taxis to pass.

  • The Halhul-Sa'ir junction across Road No. 60 (at the entrance to Hebron) has been closed with earth mounds on both sides. Movement is blocked from Palestinian villages onto Road No. 60 in this area.

  • All entrances to Hebron from Road No. 35 and No. 60 have been closed. The Ras-Al-Joura gate is currently the only closure open for travel to and from Hebron city and use is limited to the UN, international NGOs and critical service providers (garbage trucks).

  • No Palestinian vehicles are allowed to travel south of the Halhul – Sa'ir junction on Road No. 60 as a flying checkpoint erected by the IDF is in place.

  • All exits from Yatta (southern Hebron) onto Road No. 317 and No. 60 are closed. Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is getting emergency medical cases out of the area with by a back to back system at the "Zif" gate.

  • Closures have been reinforced in the southern Hebron governorate.

  • Flying checkpoints are in place at all significant junctions in western Hebron governorate.

  • All Palestinian vehicles are not allowed access through An Nabi Salih gate partial checkpoint. Palestinians from Bani Zeid area will have to travel via ‘Ajjul and then to ‘Atara bridge partial checkpoint to access Ramallah.

Further Observations

  • The Container checkpoint to the West of Jerusalem is working as usual with no additional restrictions.

  • Palestinian movement is unhindered on the eastern side of the Bethlehem governorate (along Road No. 356 and Za'atara bypass road) with no flying checkpoints or IDF presence observed.

  • Access to Beit Ummar and Al Arrub camp (south of Gush Etzion settlement bloc) from Road. No. 60 have not been closed.

  • No new closures were established in the H2 area of Hebron city.

  • There are no additional restrictions on access for the UN and international NGOs to the southern West Bank (DCL offices are facilitating movement).