Traffic Control and Limitation Orders are a type of an administrative ordinance, issued by the Area of Judea & Samaria's ("The Area") Military Commanders, as the legal basis for creating checkpoints and roadblocks as well as for imposing traffic limitations on various roads in the Area.
These orders, along with other measures, help protect the security and maintain public order in the Area, specifically in locations prone to terrorist activity, violent and illegal protests and demonstrations and other types of criminal activity.
Authority to Issue a Traffic Control and Limitation Order
Military Commanders in Judea & Samaria may, by force of the security legislation enacted in the Area, limit or prohibit the use of certain roads, in order to maintain security and public order in the Area. This authority was codified throughout the years in various articles of the security legislation and today is found in article 316 of the Security Directives Ordinance [Consolidated Version] (Judea & Samaria) (number 1651) of 2009.
Considerations Prior to the Issue of a Traffic Control and Limitation Order
The use of these orders is decided, on a case-by-case basis, based on the following considerations:
· Security Needs (Military Necessity) - the need to erect a roadblock, to prevent the passage of persons or to check persons travelling in a certain location, for imperative security needs (for instance, prevention of violent protests or to prevent large congregations of people in dangerous areas).
· A Reasonable Concern for Public Order – preventing certain vehicles from using a road, based on a reasonable suspicion that passengers intend to participate in activities against the public order (for instance, travelling to an illegal, violent protest). This concern may be based on intelligence reports, previous events in the Area and other kinds of suspicious behavior.
· Proximity to the endangered location – roadblocks and checkpoints are to be placed as near as possible to the disturbance, yet far enough away, for the protection of the soldiers manning them, and as to fulfill their intended purpose.
· Proportionality – roadblocks and checkpoints are erected after considering the difficulty they impose on passengers using the roads, including the scope of infringement of their various freedoms (movement, speech etc.) and indirect inconveniencing such as traffic build up, versus the security-related need in preventing, limiting or supervising the use of the road. In general Traffic Control and Limitation Orders, or any other limiting mean, is not used if there is a doubt as to the imperative security need.
· Communication and Notification – the use of traffic control and limitations is, in principle, not capricious. The Military Commanders regularly issuing specific permits in advance or ad-hoc permits in cases of emergency or other humanitarian needs.
Current Use of Traffic Control and Limitation Orders (2014-2015)
These orders are currently used on certain roads throughout the Area of Judea & Samaria, including route 443 (in accordance with the regime authorized by the High Court of Justice) and on some occasions near known locations in which violent Friday protests take place, such as Nabi-Saleh, Kadum, Bili'in and Na'alin.
As previously explained, the limitations in these cases are based on concrete information regarding danger to the security and public order in those localities.
The orders are an additional tool, among the various administrative tools in the security legislation, created to uphold the security and the public order in the Area, while considering the need to protect individual liberties and limit the difficulties imposed on residents of the Area.