Amira Hass reported in Haaretz this week that Palestinian lawyers have gone on a protest strike after Israel severely restricted access to their clients at the military tribunal west of Ramallah, in the West Bank. The lawyers have been told that they can no longer pass through the Beitunia checkpoint, only ¼ mile from the court. They are now being required to travel instead via the Qalandia checkpoint, in the section of northern Jerusalem annexed by Israel after 1967.The new restriction involves not only a much lengthier route. Since Israel regards Qalandia as sovereign territory, the lawyers are also required to first file for an entry permit to the country. But permit requests can take weeks to process, and are not always approved by the Israeli authorities.
Relatives of the Palestinian detainees have come up against the same treatment. The IDF and the Israel Police have been passing the buck as to who is responsible for instituting this new prohibition on movement.
Click here to read Hass’ article (or here for the somewhat more detailed treatment in Hebrew).
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