The mayors and councils of Ramallah, Al-Bireh and neighboring villages petitioned the Supreme Court this week to open to all Palestinian Authority (PA) traffic the checkpoint next to the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF's) Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, just outside the Binyamin-region Jewish community of Beit El, north of Jerusalem. The checkpoint is currently open only to emergency vehicles and vehicles of the United Nations and very important people.
The petition, filed with the assistance of the extreme leftist Center for the Defense of the Individual, founded by Doctor Lotte Salzburger, says the status quo is illegal and disproportionally harms the area population because it increases the travel distance from 3 kilometers to 15 kilometers. The IDF refuses to open the checkpoint for security reasons and because the road cannot handle the resulting traffic. It would also cause heavy congestion for Beit El residents on the access road to Highway 60. The government has been given 45 days to respond.