In response to a surprise indiscriminate attack by Hamas on Israel’s southern and central regions on October 7, 2023, Israeli police have implemented a closure of crossings into Jerusalem for Palestinians. This decision is aimed at safeguarding the safety of Israeli citizens in the face of ongoing Hamas attacks. While the measure is intended to protect Israeli citizens, it has had significant repercussions for Palestinians.
The closure of checkpoints from the West Bank into Jerusalem has created substantial challenges for Palestinian citizens, including those who rely on crossing for work, medical care, and other essential services. Palestinian businesses in Jerusalem have also suffered as a result of reduced customer traffic, adversely affecting the Palestinian economy. Furthermore, access to vital goods and services, such as medical care, education, and visiting family and friends in Jerusalem, has become exceedingly difficult for Palestinians.
The closure has faced condemnation from Palestinian authorities, who view it as a collective punishment imposed on the Palestinian people. Exceptions to the closure are limited to individuals with special permits granted by Israeli authorities, primarily for those in need of emergency medical attention or attending funerals. However, obtaining these permits is a challenging and often lengthy process.
The closure has had a profound impact on education, with students unable to attend their schools, and Palestinian workers have been unable to reach their places of employment. It effectively restricts any movement into and out of Jerusalem without attracting the attention of Israeli forces. Given the declaration of a state of war and the continuous threat of Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens, the Israeli government asserts that this closure is necessary to control casualties and ensure the safety of its population.