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Following HaMoked’s urgent demand: the military reopened the only crossing through which the inhabitants of Nabi Samwil village can reach the rest of the West Bank

On March 31, 2020, HaMoked sent the military an urgent letter regarding the closure of the Al Jib crossing – the only one connecting Nabi Samwil village to the rest of the West Bank. This village is entirely surrounded by the separation barrier and the all but complete closure of the crossing meant the inhabitants were effectively trapped inside their village. This was a follow up letter updating HaMoked’s complaint sent a few days earlier, which mistakenly ascribed the inhabitants’ predicament to a checkpoint at the entrance of the village itself.

In its letter, HaMoked clarified that the village has no shops and facilities supplying vital services, and so the inhabitants are completely dependent on Ramallah and the nearby towns to fulfill their basic needs, such as buying food and receiving medical treatment. Since the checkpoint was closed the only doctor who comes to the village once a week to provide his services, had not been able to reach the village, and so the villagers could not receive treatment or prescriptions. Going through the crossing – even for vital medical treatment – required prior coordination and entailed hours of delay until passage was allowed. Thus, for example, as one inhabitant told HaMoked, only after a three-hour wait at the checkpoint was a heavily pregnant woman allowed to pass through to get to her hospital checkup in Ramallah.

HaMoked added that the military’s arrangement regarding the inhabitants’ food supply was clearly unsatisfactory, as only twice a week were two cars allowed to leave the area of the village to get supplies for all of the inhabitants, some 500 people.

On April 2, 2020, the military’s response arrived, announcing that following the correspondence with HaMoked, “it has been decided that the Al Jib crossing will be opened for free travel of the residents of Nabi Samwil and [al-]Khalayleh as of the evening hours of today”. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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