The Shu’afat checkpoint is located in the northern part of East Jerusalem at the exit from the village of Anata and the Shu’afat refugee camp, which are located in the area annexed to Jerusalem in 1967. The refugee camp borders the Shu’afat neighborhood to the west, Pisgat Ze’ev to the north, the French Hill neighborhood to the south and the planned expansion of Ma’aleh Adumim to E-1 in the east. It was established in 1966 for 1948 refugees from the West Bank and was populated after the Six Day War by persons who had been expelled from the Jewish Quarter. Today its population comprises some 25,000 people holding blue ID cards and some 15,000 people with Palestinian ID cards. The camp lacks adequate infrastructure and services, and suffers from poverty, neglect and overcrowding. All its buildings are connected to the public electricity and water infrastructure, but not all are connected to the sewer system. The camp’s services are provided by UNRWA, except for those such as health clinics and transportation of pupils to schools in Jerusalem. In 2005, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a suit by the residents requesting that the route of the separation fence be drawn such that the camp would remain on the Israeli side, but conditioned its approval of the route on the establishment of a convenient and rapid crossing facility for the inhabitants of the neighborhood, most of whom are residents of Jerusalem.
A temporary checkpoint operated there until December, 2011. It was extremely congested during rush hours, and dangerous for pedestrians (especially children) because of inadequate safety provisions. The new checkpoint was inaugurated south of the old one, for public and private transportation and for pedestrians, intended solely for the residents of the camp – holders of blue ID cards, and those with Palestinian ID cards who possess appropriate permits. There are five vehicle inspection stations at the checkpoint, and two for pedestrians (one of which is currently closed) where scanners have been installed but are not yet operating. According to the army, representatives of government agencies will also be present to provide services to residents of the neighbourhood. The pedestrian lanes are very long, located far from the small parking lots, and accessible through only a single revolving gate.