Agencies, ALRAY - Human Rights Watch on Monday said that new Israeli restrictions on access of foreigners to occupied West Bank threaten to further isolate Palestinians from loved ones and global civil society.
The HRW pointed out that the restrictions came into force in October 2022 and were amended in December 2022, setting out detailed procedures on the entry of foreigners into the occupied West Bank, a process which is different from the procedures for entry in ‘Israel’.
Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch Eric Goldstein said that by making it harder for people to spend time in the West Bank, ‘Israel’ is taking yet another step toward turning the West Bank into another Gaza, where two million Palestinians have lived virtually sealed off from the outside world for over 15 years.
“This policy is designed to weaken the social, cultural, and intellectual ties that Palestinians have tried to maintain with the outside world,” Goldstein added.
In July 2022, Israeli occupation authorities denied Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s director for ‘Israel’ and Palestine, a permit to enter the West Bank for one week to conduct research and advocacy, citing the army’s broad authority over entry.