The residents of Biet Hanina, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem were surprised by the blocking of the only road that connects this neighborhood with east Jerusalem. The Israeli army has blocked this road by installing barbed wires and cement blocks close to the residents’ buildings closing this road. Lawyer Osama al Saa’di sent a letter to Israeli Minister of internal security Avi Dechter and to Meni Mazuz, the Israeli General Attorney demanding them both to remove the barbed wires and cement blocks which the Israeli soldiers installed earlier in week, near the buildings that are located in front of the nearby new military checkpoint, effectively closing the road to all of the residents in the neighborhood.

Al Saa’di said that ‘the residents of Biet Hanina had informed him that they had not received any copy of written orders that this closure was to take place’. He added that ‘the Israeli commander of the area claimed that the procedure was taken for security reasons and the barbed wires were installed on empty properties.’

Al Saa’di added that ‘this procedure is a severe violation of the residents’ properties and their rights; it restricts the freedom of movement for scores of Palestinian families that are living inside East Jerusalem. He added that there is no legal reason for this procedure.’ He called for the removal of these blocks and confirmed that as a precaution he will file a petition to the Israeli high court in case these blocks are not removed. Al Saa’di indicated that he called for Israeli Human Rights Organizations to join the petition which the aggrieved families will file to the Israeli high court.

The residents of the neighborhood described armies’ actions as unfair and complained that the blocking of this road will isolate them between the Separation Wall and new checkpoints that are installed in the area, preventing them from reaching their relatives, medical centers and schools. Around 2000 children will be prevented from reaching their schools in East Jerusalem in addition to employees.

Hatim Abed al Qader, advisor of the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr Salam Fayyad, said that ‘this procedure is provocative and harsh and is part of tightening the siege on the residents of East Jerusalem and is detrimental to their lives.’ He added that the Palestinian care taker government will make every possible effort to help the residents of the Biet Hanina neighborhood in this issue.

Translated by Manar Jibrin-IMEMC News