Posted by: noticeable | November 15, 2006

528 Israeli Military Checkpoints Remain In The West Bank

Military checkpoints choke all movement throughout the West Bank. While there, I could only conclude that such installations were strategically constructed to sabotage Palestinian economic opportunities and cause daily harassment. The article that follows was recently published and its subject, military checkpoints, reminds us all of institutional occupation that Palestinians faces at the hands of Israel.

The following was first published in Al Ayyam Newspaper on October 12, 2006.

A UN official said yesterday that there is a 40% rise in the number of Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank since last August, pointing that there are now 528 military checkpoints, in addition to other forms of barriers set up by the Israeli army on the roads to restrict the movement of Palestinians which led to the division of the West Bank into three major regions: north, center and south and inside those regions there are pockets with difficulty in moving between them. David Shearer, Head of UN Office Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said the continuous closures in the West Bank led to the separation and isolation of Palestinian communities from each other, especially in Nablus, Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley area. He said: the separation process in the West Bank has been reinforced in the last three months. A report by OCHA said that the closure system is a major cause for a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip because it is preventing the Palestinians from accessing basic services such as health and education and prevents individuals from reaching to their lands and deprives people from the chance to visit each other or head to their workplaces or holy sites.

In the meantime, the UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator Jan Egeland waned yesterday of a social explosion in Gaza Strip that might drown the Palestinian lands into more acts of violence. During a press conference in Geneva, Egeland said the repeated closure of Gaza Strip by the Israeli army for security reasons is causing dangers to the activities of around 1.5 million persons. He said: We are worried in particular in Gaza strip which is like a ticking bomb that will sooner or later lead to a social explosion worse than what we are witnessing now. He affirmed that Israel is considering an international proposal to deploy observers at the crossings points into Gaza Strip and these observers will be commissioned to monitor the crossings and make sure that no goods would constitute a threat to the security of the Jewish state until reaching to a regular organized movement of Palestinian exports and security the import of fuel and other basic goods and items into Gaza Strip. He announced: We cannot give up on 1.5 million people who feel as if they are in a cage.


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