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Call For Removal Of Closures

Call For Removal Of Closures

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)Urges Senior IDF and Police Officials in the West Bank to remove Closures Preventing Palestinian Residents of Tel Rumeida from Reaching their Homes and to Protect the Palestinian Population from Violent Attacks by Israeli Settlers

On 21 September 2006, ACRI submitted an urgent letter to Major General Yair Naveh, Police Superintendent Israel Yitzhak, and the Legal Adviser to the IDF in the West Bank, Colonel Yair Lotstein. The letter was sent on behalf of Palestinian families living in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, whose access to their homes has been blocked and who suffer from repeated attacks by Israeli settlers. The letter represents ACRI's final attempt to resolve this longstanding and untenable situation outside of the courts.

In the letter, ACRI Attorney Limor Yehuda details the severe human rights violations confronted by the Palestinian families in Tel Rumeida. These include:

• The closures at the main entrances of the families' homes and the prohibition imposed by the Israeli security forces on Palestinian families which denies them the right to use these entrances. As a result of these closures, the journey to and from home for the affected families has become both convoluted and dangerous, and involves climbing fences and ladders. For the weaker members of the families, such a journey is simply not possible;

• the ongoing lax and indifferent approach of the Israeli security forces in the face of the systematic and continued violence of Israeli settlers living in the Tel Rumeida settlement. This violence has caused great damage to the well-being of the local Palestinian population as well as to their property. The unrelenting daily attacks mean that the local Palestinian residents are forced to live in a constant state of fear throughout every hour of the day and night. Hardly a day or night goes by without stones, heavy objects, garbage, or bottles being thrown into the neighborhood from the direction of the settlement. Palestinian children from the neighborhood are frequently attacked on their way to and from school. These attacks are perpetrated in full view of the IDF soldiers who are permanently positioned in the area, some of whom even occupy the observation posts set up on the roofs of the homes of the Palestinian families. The letter emphasizes that despite many appeals to the authorities by ACRI in the past years, and dozens of complaints filed by local residents to the Police Force, the Israeli security forces have failed to take the necessary action to address this untenable situation.

In the letter, Attorney Yehuda demands that the IDF and Police officials in the area immediately order the removal of the physical closures to the families' homes and ensure the freedom of movement and safety of the local Palestinian residents. Attorney Yehuda further demands that the IDF and the Police Force employ all the measures at their disposal in order to bring to an end the violent attacks against the Palestinian residents and their property.

Ends

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