TIPH has performed a comprehensive overview of closures, roadblocks and checkpoints constructed by the Israeli army in Hebron and calls on the Israeli authorities to remove a number of these barriers as a first step in a renewed effort. (Hebron 16.12.2007)
The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) has performed a comprehensive overview of closures, roadblocks and checkpoints constructed by the Israeli army in Hebron.
– The effect these roadblocks have on the daily life for Palestinians in Hebron is enormous, TIPH Head of Mission Karl-Henrik Sjursen says. We argue that many of these closures can be removed without security being compromised.
TIPH calls on the Israeli authorities, in a first stage, to remove a number of roadblocks that especially hamper economic activity in the city.
– We have a continuous dialogue with the Israeli side where we stress the value of removing roadblocks that can have no security implications as a first step in a renewed effort to restore normalcy to the city, Sjursen also says.
According to the count by TIPH, there are 113 roadblocks, closures and checkpoints in the city of Hebron. The two main areas of closures are around the settlements in the city center and the entry and exit roads to the city.
The closure of the area surrounding the settlements and the access roads between the settlements and the holy site (Ibrahimi Mosque / Cave of Machpela) combined with lengthy passage procedures at the checkpoints effectively shuts down the economic and social life of the Old City of Hebron. The closing of numerous roads leading to Hebron chokes the traffic in and out of a city with 170 000 inhabitants to two main roads – making life unnecessarily difficult for the inhabitants.