Israeli police block Palestinians from entering Sheikh Jarrah, but let in Israeli Jewish extremists

Adalah and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem neighborhood petition Israeli Supreme Court against police checkpoints; police only checking only IDs of Palestinians.

UPDATE [02.06.2021]: At the request of petitioners, Adalah withdraws Israeli Supreme Court petition against Israeli police checkpoints in Sheikh Jarrah.


Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed an urgent petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on Thursday, 20 May 2021, demanding that Israeli police remove the checkpoints they have established at the entrances to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem and calling for an urgent hearing on the issue.


Adalah filed the petition on behalf of Sheikh Jarrah residents and the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem against the checkpoints, which police set up at access points to the neighborhood some two weeks ago.


Israeli police posted at the checkpoints are blocking the entry of non-resident Palestinians into Sheikh Jarrah, while simultaneously granting access to organized groups of dozens of Israeli Jewish extremists.


These extremists – many of them armed with assault rifles – have attacked Palestinian residents of the neighborhood on a number of occasions over the past couple weeks.


Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher argues in the petition to the Israeli Supreme Court that police restriction of freedom of movement based on racial and ethnic profiling is overtly manifestly unconstitutional.


Adalah also stresses in the petition that no Israeli law exists which authorizes police to establish such checkpoints and – even if there were such a law – it would not authorize the use of racial or ethnic profiling.


Adalah commented on the situation in Sheikh Jarrah:


"The Israeli police, which is essentially backing the settlers' takeover of Sheikh Jarrah, is now employing a racist practice seen only in the darkest of regimes, one which stands in clear violation of international law. The degrading tactic of racial profiling that Israeli officers are now using – exclusively against Palestinians – serves as a tool in the hands of the Israeli far right to hold Palestinian residents hostage in their own homes. The checkpoints at the entrances to Sheikh Jarrah, together with the nightly attacks of Israeli Jewish extremists on Palestinian residents, clearly spotlight the policies of Jewish supremacy that Israel is now seeking to impose and which are leading to continued bloodshed."


As the situation has continued to develop over the past number of days, Adalah has issued a series of urgent letters to on this subject to Israel's national police commissioner, the Israeli police's Jerusalem district commander, the Israeli internal security minister, and the Israeli attorney general.


CLICK HERE to read the petition [Hebrew]