31st January 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine
In the old city of occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestinians’ freedom of movement is impeded by a large number of Israeli checkpoints. In the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, many school-children and teachers are forced to pass at least one, often more, checkpoint daily on their way to school. The Israeli occupation seriously disrupts the right to education for Palestinians in al-Khalil.
One of the checkpoints that Palestinians have to pass in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood is the ‘Gilbert’ checkpoint in the heart of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood. This checkpoint divides the neighborhood, enforcing the Israeli forces’ checkpoint regime on Palestinian residents only. Israeli settlers enjoy full freedom of movement and rights in and around the illegal settlements. This photo-story of the Gilbert checkpoint illustrates what this limitation of movement means to Palestinian civilians in every day life.
Palestinian journalists were denied entry through the checkpoint. They were on their way to Shuhada Street to document Palestinian school children walking through checkpoints on their way to school.
Palestinian school-boy has to pass his school-bag for a bag-search, before being allowed to continue on his way to school.
Israeli soldier searching the bag of a Palestinian woman. Officially, these bag-searches are for ‘security purposes’, but Israeli forces often arbitrarily search only some bags. At this checkpoint they mainly search women’s bags, while allowing men to pass without being searched. Palestinians are robbed of even the tiniest bit of privacy at the Israeli forces’ checkpoints.
Group of Palestinian school children passing through Israeli military checkpoint. Children are not exempt from the Israeli forces policies and are forced to pass metal detectors daily. On their way to school. Israeli forces sometimes search their bags or force them to wait while checking another Palestinian.
Palestinian child passing through checkpoint and past a large group of Israeli forces on his way home. An ‘innocent’ childhood is denied to Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation. Sadly, they have to pass large groups of heavily-armed soldiers on the way to school. The practice of soldiers conducting exercises of how to shoot Palestinians to death at checkpoints in civilian Palestinian neighborhoods are the norm rather than the exception.
Palestinian school children passing Israeli military checkpoint on their way to school. These checkpoints often are the reason for Palestinian school-children to reach school late, as they might be delayed, denied to pass or searched.
Palestinian man is forced to wait at the checkpoint, but forced to move several meters back, as Israeli forces check his ID, violating his freedom of movement.
Israeli forces are detaining a Palestinian woman at the checkpoint, unaware that a member of a UN delegation is present. According to international law and the recent UN resolution, Israeli settlements in the Israeli occupied West Bank are illegal.
Israeli forces ‘checking’ Palestinian shop located near the checkpoint. All commodities and general necessities have to be bought on the other side of the checkpoint, as the area locked up within the checkpoints has no shops. So, whenever a Palestinian needs to buy groceries, he or she must pass the checkpoint.
Palestinian school-children turn around as Israeli forces call them back. Having passed the metal detector doesn’t always mean that soldiers will allow you to pass: even after passing through the checkpoint, soldiers from time to time will stop and inspect Palestinians again.