Closure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (1995)
The closure by Israel of the West Bank and Gaza as a means of collective punishment of the Palestinian people entails the following:
- Restrictions on freedom of movement within the Palestinian territory, cordoning off areas, including movement between towns and villages and cities.
- Restrictions on entry into occupied East Jerusalem and the restriction of movement between the West Bank and Gaza due to the lack of compliance by the Israeli side with regard to the establishment of a safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza.
- Closure of the Israeli border to Palestinian persons and goods from the West Bank and Gaza and prevention of the entry of Israeli goods and citizens into the West Bank and Gaza, as well as restriction on the movement of foreigners between Israel on the one hand and the West Bank and Gaza on the other.
- Closure of the borders of the West Bank and Gaza with Jordan and Egypt respectively, including the movement of persons and goods which are legally being imported by Palestinian merchants, severing any links between the Palestinian territory and the outside world and effectively isolating it from the outside world.
- The closure of the borders between Israel and the Palestinian territory, as described above, causes innumerable damage to the Palestinian economy and extreme hardship for a large segment of the population.
- Throughout the years of occupation, Israel kept the Palestinian economy hostage and followed systematic policies to make it dependent on the Israeli economy. It used the Palestinians as a source of cheap labor on a large scale to augment Israeli economic benefits. Consequently, closing the borders constitutes a denial of Israel's continuing moral responsibilities until a different Palestinian economy is built. Israel cannot build a wall of separation between the Palestinians and Israel and at the same time attempt to impose its economic and trade conditions on the Palestinian side. Israel must choose between freedom of movement of persons, albeit regulated, as the basis of a relationship between the two sides on the one hand and the separation and closures on the other hand.
- If Israel chooses nevertheless to continue pursuing such a practice on the basis of security considerations, it remains a different matter altogether for Israel to close the borders of the Palestinian territory with the outside world aside from those with Israel.