Jerusalem is known as an open, international, “city of peace.” For millions of Palestinians, however, it is a closed city, virtually unreachable, as unknown and unknowable as the sea. Here we explore closure, Israel’s system that controls movement based on identity and thereby profoundly alters the fabric of the city and its hinterland.

The Story in Numbers

31 Years

Since the first closure of the West Bank and Gaza, and the introduction of the permit regime [1]

18

Checkpoints controlling access to Jerusalem [2]

26,000

Estimated number of Palestinians who pass through Qalandiya checkpoint, the major access point between Ramallah and Jerusalem, each day [3]

3

Number of checkpoints that all Palestinians with PA IDs are allowed to use to access Jerusalem [4]

15,000

Estimated number of Palestinians who pass through Checkpoint 300, the major checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, each day [5]

4.6 million

Palestinians living within the occupied West Bank and Gaza who cannot enter Jerusalem without a permit [6]

100+

Types of permits required for Palestinians with Palestinian Authority IDs to move from place to place for every possible life circumstance [7]

0

Types of permits required for Jews with Israeli IDs to move from place to place [8]

500,000+

Palestinians banned permanently from Jerusalem for 1–99 years [9]

More on This Topic

Video Checkpoint 300: The Torturous Commute of the Palestinian Worker Entering Israel from the West Bank

The agony and dehumanizing experience of the “morning commute” for Palestinians who hold Palestinian Authority (PA) ID cards and must enter Israel to feed their families.

Blog Post Jerusalem Shuts Down in Response to the Lockdown of Shu’fat Refugee Camp

A short vlog chronicling the general strike observed among Palestinian stores in East Jerusalem on October 12, 2022