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Palestinians: Travel Restrictions

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on movement restrictions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the form of (a) checkpoints, (b) roadblocks, (c) closures, (d) road gates, (e) trenches and (f) earth mounds (i) operated and (ii) removed by Israel since the start of November 2007. (178536)

The latest authoritative information that we have is from the Movement and Access Report produced by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, covering the period 14-17 November 2007, published on 11 January 2008. The report records that 563 obstacles were present in the West Bank, compared with 561 in the previous report. This represents an increase of 185 obstacles, or 49.7 percent. over the baseline figure for August 2005.

The ability of Palestinians to move within the West Bank has deteriorated due to the continued or increased use of checkpoints, curfews, roadblocks, a permit system and the barrier. Permit and other restrictions have isolated residents of the West Bank from East Jerusalem and from each other.