Bethlehem 300 Checkpoint
Hani Al-Hayek, Mayor of Beit Sahour
This is an appeal from Beit Sahour municipality asking all partners, friends and peace loving people to protest the latest illegal developments at the Bethlehem ‘border crossing.’
“READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND THEN OBEY – HAVE A NICE DAY”
This is the first instruction you receive from the welcome sign at the new ‘Bethlehem border crossing’. The only problem with this is that Bethlehem lies deep inside Palestinian territory. Under International law, the land and people on both sides of this checkpoint belong to Palestine.
If anyone wishes to cross from Bethlehem to East Jerusalem (also in internationally recognized Palestine) then they must now go through a ‘gate’ in the 8 meter high concrete ‘security barrier’ and then through a passport control building, including several personal checks and scans, and then they are finally allowed to proceed if they have a permit for entering Jerusalem.
What this amounts to is that the people of the Bethlehem District must now endure humiliating searches, often involving strip searches, on land inside their own territory. It hardly needs to be stated that this is a gross breach of international law and not in the interests of peace.
Furthermore, Bethlehem as a city depends upon tourism and pilgrimages for its economic survival. As all foreign visitors must endure the same treatment as the local population at this new crossing, we are sure that this will have a further devastating impact upon the economy of our city. This is simply one more stage in the plan to strangle Bethlehem city and collapse its economy.
It took only a few months for the Israeli military to construct this new breach of our human rights, once again demonstrating the over-whelming force with which they govern the lives of the Palestinian people. As long as they continue to arbitrarily take such measures against us, we see little hope that we will achieve a Palestinian State with peace and justice.
We call upon all of our friends and partners to protest to their embassies and governments the actions which Israel is unilaterally taking around our city. We make this appeal because we need your support to stop this new injustice.
Send messages of protest to