Closure and Access to Jerusalem
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.
What is happening at al-Aqsa Mosque under cover of war?
What is closure, and how does it block Palestinians with certain IDs from moving freely? We asked Yael Berda, who worked within and studied this little-understood bureaucracy.
An interactive map of the checkpoints around Jerusalem that control Palestinian access to the city
Use the magnifier box in the bottom left-hand corner to view the map full screen. Zoom in to view the localities’ and checkpoints' names. Click on the Legend in the upper right to view and manipulate the various map layers.
Since the first closure of the West Bank and Gaza in January 1991, and the introduction of the permit regime 
Checkpoints controlling access to Jerusalem 
Estimated number of Palestinians who pass through Qalandiya checkpoint, the major access point between Ramallah and Jerusalem, each day 
Number of checkpoints that all Palestinians with PA IDs are allowed to use to access Jerusalem 
Estimated number of Palestinians who pass through Checkpoint 300, the major checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, each day 
Palestinians living within the occupied West Bank and Gaza who cannot enter Jerusalem without a permit 
Types of permits required for Palestinians with Palestinian Authority IDs to move from place to place for every possible life circumstance 
Types of permits required for Jews with Israeli IDs to move from place to place 
Palestinians banned permanently from Jerusalem for 1–99 years 
1. See Jerusalem: A Closed City.
3. Harrison Jacobs, “I Took the Excruciating 10-mile Journey through Israel’s Most Notorious Military Checkpoint That Adds Hours to the Daily Commute for 26,000 Palestinians,” Business Insider, August 7, 2018.
5. ActiveStills, “Checkpoints: Israel’s Military Checkpoints: ‘We Live a Life of Injustice,’” Al Jazeera, 2018.
6. See The Unreachable City.
7. See Jerusalem: A Closed City.
9. See Banned from Entry.
Palestinian East Jerusalem responds to a call for civil disobedience from Shu‘fat refugee camp by shutting down completely.
Israel imposes total closure during the Jewish holidays. For those who don’t celebrate, this means days of immobility both in the city and around it.