Adalah Submits Pre-Petition Demanding that the Israeli Army Immediately Cancel the Curfews Imposed on Palestinian Cities in the West Bank


Yesterday, Adalah submitted a pre-petition to the Legal Advisor of the Israeli Army and the Attorney General's Office demanding that the military immediately cancel the curfew imposed on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jenin, as well as the villages surrounding Qalqiliya and Tulkarem. The curfews prohibit Palestinians from leaving their homes for any purpose. 

On 14 April 2002, Adalah Staff Attorney Marwan Dalal approached the Legal Advisor of the Israeli Army, requesting information as to which Palestinian cities and towns are subject to curfew, the length of time the army intends to impose them, and their purpose. In his reply, the Legal Advisor revealed the Palestinian cities and towns under curfew; indicated that the curfew is imposed for four days, will be temporarily lifted for four hours, and then re-imposed; and stated that the purpose of the curfew is to meet the military's needs in conducting its Operation "Defensive Shield." 

Based on this information, Adalah argued in the pre-petition that the military's authority to impose such curfews is highly questionable; that the curfews are a form of collective punishment of the entire Palestinian population; and that they are being imposed in a disproportionate manner. Adalah emphasized that the curfews violate the rights of Palestinian civilians, including infants, to obtain medical care and treatment. The curfews also violate Palestinians' rights to work and education: Palestinian families are prevented from going to work and Palestinians students cannot attend school. Adalah stressed that the curfews imposed by the Israeli army violate its obligations to the Palestinian civilian population under domestic as well as international human rights and humanitarian law.