Adalah to AG: Closure of East Jerusalem is collective punishment

Adalah: Collective punishment undermines fundamental rights of residents to human dignity and freedom of movement, and violates international law

On 15 October 2015, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that he order the authorities to refrain from imposing closures, curfews, security rings or any similar restrictions on the Palestinian Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Adalah's request followed the political-security Cabinet's decision, "to authorize the Israeli police to impose closures on points of friction and incitement in Jerusalem based on security considerations.”


Adalah Attorney Mysanna Morany wrote in the letter that such practices are illegal and involve serious violations of residents’ rights: "Closure, curfews, checkpoints or similar restrictions on the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem constitute collective punishment, which is in clear violation of both Israeli law and international law...Such collective punishment undermines the fundamental rights of residents to human dignity and freedom of movement." Adalah's letter stressed that these practices may even endanger residents’ lives, “due to the problems expected in access to essential services such as health and rescue services.”


These steps violate international law, which prohibits collective punishment: "Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem to the State of Israel and its application of Israeli law to this area did not change its legal status under international law. East Jerusalem remains occupied Palestinian territory. Therefore, the rules of international humanitarian and human rights law apply to Israel in this area.”