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Israel has stopped almost 8,000 Palestinians from going abroad since 2015

Israel has imposed 310 individual travel bans in 2019, rights group Hurryyat says, with 91 percent of them against men
Israeli authorities routinely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement using checkpoints and blockades (AFP)

Israel has prevented almost 8,000 Palestinians from travelling abroad over the last five years, a Palestinian rights group said.

Hurryyat, a Jersusalem-based rights organisation, recorded 7,984 cases in which Israel issued travel bans against Palestinians. At least 91 percent of the bans were against men, it said.

In 2019, 310 travel bans were reported, seven of which were against women. The highest number of travel bans was in 2014, when 3,672 were issued.

Hurryyat said the number of total bans was probably much higher, considering the organisation only tracks individual travel bans and not collective ones.

In 2014, Israel imposed a collective travel ban on Palestinians in the entire Hebron governorate in the occupied West Bank. The governorate is home to more than 700,000 people.

Israeli authorities routinely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement using checkpoints and blockades, as the country continues to expand its settlements, deemed illegal by the international community, throughout the West Bank.

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In October, Israel issued a travel ban against Laith Abu Zeyad, Amnesty International's campaigner for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Israel previously issued a series of travel bans against prominent pro-Palestinian activists, including Omar Barghouti, founder of BDS movement, and Shawan Jabarin, director of the Palestinian rights organisation Al-Haq.

The report by Hurryyat comes as Israel has also made dozens of arrests in raids across the occupied West Bank, including that of prominent writer Ahmad Qamatesh.

According to Palestinian figures, about 5,700 Palestinians - including many women and children - are currently being detained by Israeli authorities.

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip, after Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections there a year earlier.

Over the past few years, Israel has intensified its crackdown against non-governmental organisations and activists working within Israel and Palestine. 

Last month, Israeli forces raided the Ramallah offices of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights organisation, taking five laptops and memory cards and searching through personal belongings, Addameer said.