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

Short Take Only in Jerusalem

If Jerusalem is closed to you, what else cannot be accessed? 

Feature Story Internal Closure Imposed on Sheikh Jarrah

Closure is not only imposed on Palestinian access to the city of Jerusalem as a whole; it is also imposed on Palestinian access to their own neighborhoods—in this case, Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.