Blocking activists from areas around Nablus is a cynical use of the security justification

Wed., June 3, 2009 – The OC Central Command chief Gadi Shamni today signed a military order preventing Israelis from entering sensitive areas and checkpoints near Nablus. This order declares a closed military zone around three checkpoints in the Nablus area in order to prevent “damage to soldier’s activities.” The order bars access of all Israelis with the exception of those carrying special permits from entering specifically sensitive checkpoint areas – where soldiers conduct security checks on Palestinians wishing to cross. The IDF explained that often left-wing activists and protesters disrupt soldiers working at the checkpoints.

Human rights organizations in Israel oppose the decision to aggressively block access of Israelis – specifically human rights activists to checkpoints in the Nablus area.

The organizations say, “today’s military order reflects the IDF’s cynical use of the security justification in order to distance itself from the burden of criticism. The actions taken by Machsom Watch and other human rights organizations are crucial in order to expose and report on human rights violations by the military and reduce violence; it is only in totalitarian states that the military can withhold human rights organizations’ access to areas of friction with civilians.”

Organizations on this statement: Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, Public Committee Against Torture Israel, Gisha, Hamoked, Adalah, Bimkomand Rabbis for Human Rights.