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Military Order Violates Freedom of Movement

Thursday, 20 October 2011 19:54 - [3-16 October] - Ref.: 342/2011
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At the start of last week, Israeli authorities issued compulsory military orders banning four Palestinian non-violent activists from entering the West Bank, (not including East Jerusalem) for a period of six months. All four activists hold a Jerusalem ID which is issued to permanent residents of Jerusalem.

The military orders were based on both Israeli law and security regulations and also other military orders that not only declare the West Bank as a closed military zone but also that Israeli authorities have control over the entire entry permit system into the West Bank area. The orders, signed by the Head of Israeli Central Command Avi Mizrahi, ostensibly claim that this measure was taken in order to maintain the security of Israeli citizens.

‘Abd-al-latif Shihada Gheith

Abd-al-latifAbd-al-latif (70 years old) is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. On 9 October, ‘Abd-al-latif was called into the Russian Compound prison facilities in Jerusalem where he met an officer of the Israeli intelligence service who used the name ’Ala’.

The officer handed him the military order, which stated that ‘Abd-al-latif should not be allowed to enter the area of “Judea and Samaria” or to be present there until 3 April 2012, unless he was given other orders by the Israeli Central Command.

This order further disconnects ‘Abd-al-latif from his work, his colleagues, his friends and his family; some of whom are located in the West Bank, as it severly restricts his right to freedom of movement (see Al-Haq Affidavit No. 6679/2011).

Ya’qoub Mahmoud Abu-‘Asab

Ya’qoub (39 years old) is the owner of a travel agency in Jerusalem and is a politically active member of the society. On 10 October, an officer from the Israeli intelligence, who said his name was “Captain ‘Ala’,” called Ya’qoub and requested that he report to the Russian Compound prison facilities in Jerusalem where he was handed a military order, almost identical to that of ‘Abd-al-Latif’s. The order bans him from entering the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, for a period of six months.

This military order is particularly problematic for Ya’qoub who is a Masters student at Al-Quds University in Abu-Dis. Ya’qoub’s right to education will be severely restricted by the order, which prevents him from accessing Abu Dis, where he goes to university.

Abu-Dis is a Palestinian town in the Jerusalem governorate that has been disconnected by the Annexation Wall from the rest of East Jerusalem. Contrary to international law, the Israeli authorities annexed East Jerusalem and consider it to be separate from the rest of the West Bank. The order will also prevent Ya'qoub from visiting his relatives in Hebron and al-Ram. The latter is also located in the Jerusalem governorate and has been cut off from East Jerusalem by the Annexation Wall.

This was the second military order restricting Ya’qoub’s freedom of movement. A few days earlier, on 6 October, his house was raided by Israeli forces. That day Ya’qoub was handed a travel ban order prohibiting him from travelling outside the country until 4 May 2012 (see Al-Haq Affidavit No. 6678/2011).

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