Continuing its Efforts to Judaize Occupied East Jerusalem, Israel’s Forces Close the Ras Khamis Checkpoint and Declare the Establishment of a Bridge between Silwan and al-Buaq Wall.The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms possible the continued policies practiced by the Israeli occupation authorities aimed to Judaize occupied East Jerusalem, the latest of which was the closing of the Ras Khamis checkpoint, northeast of the city, and the start of construction for a section of the annexation wall in that area.
PCHR further condemns Israel’s plans to establish a bridge for pedestrians and cars between the settlement visiting center known as ‘David Town’ at the entrance of Silwan village, south of the old town of East Jerusalem, and the tunnel of al-Buraq Wall, passing through WadiHilweh Yard (‘Givati Park’).
PCHR emphasizes that these measures are part of the policies adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities to Judaize the city, cut it off from other parts of the occupied West Bank and perpetuate its annexation to Israel, in violation of international humanitarian law and international resolutions regarding the legitimacy of occupied East Jerusalem.
PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately stop Israel’s policies in occupied Jerusalem, and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Wednesday at noon, 19 September 2012, the Israeli occupation forces closed the Ras Khamis checkpoint, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, and initiated the construction of a new section of the annexation wall in the area.
The closure of this checkpoint will isolate the Ras Khams neighborhood from the city and transfer the movement of its 10,000 residents to the Shu’fat crossing, which opened on 11 December 2011.
After the dismantling of this checkpoint, Palestinian civilians will be force to walk another2 kilometers to reach the Shu’fat crossing, which was established to cut the Shu’fat refugee camp, the Ras Khamis neighborhood and al-Salam suburb off from Jerusalem.
The Palestinian population of these 3 areas is estimated to be 50,000. PCHR is concerned that the Israeli occupation authorities may withdraw Jerusalem ID cards from this population and substitute ID cards from the Palestinian National Authority.
In the same context, the Jerusalem Development Company – Moriah is currently establishing a bridge for pedestrians and cars between the settlement visiting center known as ‘David Town’ at the entrance of Silwan village, south of the old town of East Jerusalem, and the tunnel of al-Buraq Wall, passing through WadiHilwa Yard (‘Givati Park’).
The WadiHilweh Information Center in Silwan village stated that notices were disseminated in the WadiHilweh area indicating that traffic would be changed and work would begin on the main road,whichis currently in use, to turn it into a bridge linking the settlement center and al-Buraq Road.
According to the notices, this work will continue for several months from 23:00 to 05:00, during which time the Israeli police would close the main road to traffic. Moriah is cooperating with the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem, the Israeli police and the Israeli Archaeology Authority.
The Center further pointed out that the Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling about a year ago ordering Israel to abstain from making any changes to the main road of WadiHilweh, in response to petitions from the Palestinian population. The Israeli occupation forces have not complied with this court ruling, as the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem have declared their intention to make changes to this road, including changes to traffic and general appearance.
PCHR strongly condemns these measures, and all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially in East Jerusalem, and:
1. Calls upon the international community to intervene to compel Israel to stop all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), especially in East Jerusalem.
2. Confirms that East Jerusalem, which has been occupied since 05 June 1967, is an integral part of theoPt, and that procedures taken by Israel following the occupation of the city do not change its legal status.
3. Asserts that all Israeli settlement activities in East Jerusalem constitute a war crime, according to international humanitarian law.
4. Calls for the application of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 08 July 2004, which considers the annexation wall being built by Israel in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal and calls for the dismantlement of such parts of it that have been built.
5. Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal obligations and ensure Israel’s respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention in the oPt, in accordance with Article 1 of the Convention. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community encourages Israel to act as a state above law, and to commit more violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including efforts to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
6. Calls upon the European Union (EU) and/or its Member States to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israeli Association Agreement, which makes Israel’s respect for human rights a condition for economic cooperation, and to act to ensure Israel’s respect for human rights. PCHR also calls upon EU Member States to stop all forms of interactions with Israeli goods, particularly those produced in Israeli settlements in the oPt.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza , Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Webpage