Sunday, December 11, 2011

With the completion of a section of the separation wall bordering Shu’fat r.c. in East Jerusalem, the IDF closes its Shu’fat checkpoint into Jerusalem and redirects traffic to a new modern checkpoint (begun in 2009 to serve as a future international crossing into Jerusalem). The move leaves more than 50,000 Palestinians living in Shu’fat r.c. and several surrounding Jerusalem suburbs (Ras Shihada, Ras Khamis, al-Salam, and part of ‘Anata) who hold Jerusalem IDs completely isolated fr. Jerusalem. In the West Bank, the IDF clashes with mourners taking part in the funeral for Palestinian activist Mustafa Tamimi (see 12/10), causing no serious injuries; conducts daytime patrols in 3 villages nr. Salfit, 2 nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Bethlehem, and in Tulkarm; conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR 12/12, 12/15; OCHA 12/16; JPI 12/23)

The Israeli cabinet unanimously approves $160 m. for the next stage of construction of the security fence along the border with Egypt, expansion of detention centers, and increased policing of companies that hire illegal workers. Since 1/2006, nearly 50,000 illegal workers, mostly fr. Eritrea and Sudan, have entered Israel via the Sinai, raising concerns among Israelis that the mounting influx of illegal African workers could undermine Israel’s Jewish character. (NYT, WP 12/12)