‘FENCED OFF’: New ICJP report on Israel’s 2022 rules on entry of foreign nationals into the West Bank

London, 18 July 2023- Today, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has publicly released a report on Israel’s recent Procedure on the entry and residence of foreign nationals in the West Bank. The report was initially launched in May to an exclusive group of leading Palestinian human rights figures and legal professionals in the United Kingdom, with the UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese also in attendance. The report was released in collaboration with the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and supported by members of the Right to Enter campaign.

Co-authored by Dania Abul Haj and Ilora Choudhury of ICJP, the report shows how this Procedure severely restricts the ability of foreign nationals, including millions of people with Palestinian heritage, to visit, work in, study or volunteer in the occupied West Bank. The new Procedure, known as the 2022 Procedure, was issued by the Israeli military body known as Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). The Procedure is deemed to be intentionally confusing, complex and arbitrary, which allows broad discretion to Israeli army officials to deny entry, often on the basis of profiling individuals based on racial and ethnic origin. The process is further exacerbated by the fact that there are no clear routes for appeal.

The report demonstrates how the regulations are incompatible with Israel’s duties and obligations arising out of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the rights to privacy and family life, freedom of movement, economic development, education, and the enjoyment of cultural rights.

The Procedure is a clear attempt to further Israel’s control over the occupied West Bank and contributes to the further entrenchment of occupation, annexation and apartheid. By preventing Palestinian families where at least one member is a foreign national from being able to live together, Israel is creating a coercive environment designed to cause a ‘silent transfer’, by harassing entire families to leave the West Bank. Moreover, the rules strengthen the environment of surveillance and control maintained by the Israeli military regime that makes day-to-day life in the West Bank unliveable.

The report calls on Israel to conduct a review of their non-compliance with international law, amend or repeal the 2022 Procedure, and remove all arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinian people’s rights and all visitors to the occupied West Bank. ICJP also call on the international community, including Third States such as the UK, to publicly condemn the Procedure, call for a review of Israel’s international obligations and monitor and protect the rights of their own citizens whose rights are infringed under these measures.

Tayab Ali, Co-Director at ICJP, said:

“This Procedure is a draconian development that is designed to disrupt people’s lives, strip people of their rights and segregate people from one another. It is a classic tactic of divide and conquer and an entrenchment of Israeli apartheid. However, these new regulations simply formalise a reality that Palestinian people have been forced to live with for years.

It gives a totally blank check to border guards, as there is no requirement to provide any reasons in cases of denial of entry. It is a bureaucratic nightmare designed to tie people’s ankles together with red tape.

We are pleased to release this report so that there is better understanding of the repression of the right to entry that West Bank visitors are subjected to. It cuts West Bank Palestinians off from the rest of the world, so it is imperative that the international community holds Israel accountable for these arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on the exercise of people’s rights.”


Notes for editors

  1.  For more information, or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact: Jonathan Purcell, Public Affairs and Communications Officer, at   [email protected].
  2. Please find a full pdf copy of the report available for download below: