IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Israel is violating the rights of Palestinian families split between the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel proper by placing bureaucratic obstacles that make it almost impossible to maintain "a reasonable family life," a new report authored by two prominent rights groups alleged on Monday.
The study, which was jointly released by B'Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, says that Palestinians in the West Bank are only permitted to travel to Gaza to see their loved ones if they commit to remaining in the Strip or in special "humanitarian" cases.
The study also alleges that Palestinians in Gaza seeking to travel to the West Bank are refused pointblank, even if the persons involved are married couples seeking to reunite.
"B’Tselem and HaMoked call upon Israel to respect the right of all Palestinian residents to family life and to freedom of movement, and to allow them to choose where to live," the organizations said in a statement. "When one spouse is a resident of the West Bank, the couple must be allowed free movement – subject to individual security checks – between Gaza and the West Bank, which constitute a single territorial unit."