Both Security and Justice

for Palestinians as well as Israelis

Israeli Checkpoints [Wikipedia URL]

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A Israel Defense Forces checkpoint, usually called an Israeli checkpoint (Hebrew: מחסום‎, machsom, Arabic: حاجز‎, hajez), is a barrier erected by the Israel Defense Forces with the stated aim of enhancing the security of Israel and Israeli settlements and preventing those who wish to do harm from crossing. Most of the checkpoints in the West Bank are not located on the boundary between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, but rather throughout the West Bank.[1]

IDF checkpoints may be manned by the Israeli Military Police, who perform security checks on Palestinians, the Israel Border Police, and / or other soldiers.

 

IDF viewpoint

The IDF has stated that during 2008, it has removed the crossing joins, 140 roadblocks and eight central checkpoints, in an effort to improve freedom of movement for the civilian Palestinian population.[2] As of December 2010, Israeli authorities report that 27 out of 41 manned checkpoints, and more than 200 unmanned roadblocks- more than a third of the total roadblocks- have been removed.[3]

According to program director Col. Triber Bezalel, the IDF employs humanitarian officers at various checkpoints, which are responsible to make life easier for those who cross the borders and aid the elderly and sick.[4]

 

Criticism

Many Palestinian residents of the West Bank, claim that despite the checkpoints' intended use, in practice they violate Palestinians' rights to transportation and other human rights. Palestinian complaints of abuse and humiliation are common: Israel Defense Forces' Judge Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Dr. Menachem Finkelstein, states that "there were many—too many—complaints that soldiers manning checkpoints abuse and humiliate Palestinians and that the large number of complaints 'lit a red light' for him".[5] Hundreds of Israeli women have monitored the checkpoints as part of Machsom (Checkpoint) Watch. The organization circulated daily reports on the checkpoints and published a book of testimonies that co-founder and author Yehudit Kirstein-Keshet says demonstrates "Israel's imprisonment of an entire population in a web of closures and checkpoints."[6] Kirstein-Keshet also reports, "We Watchers … have witnessed the daily humiliation and abuse, the despair and impotence of Palestinians at checkpoints."[7]

 

The United Nations, in its February 2009 Humanitarian Monitor report, has stated that it is becoming "apparent" that the checkpoint and obstacles, which Israeli authorities justified from the beginning of the second Intifada (September 2000) as a temporary military response to violent confrontations and attacks on Israeli civilians, is evolving into "a more permanent system of control" that is steadily reducing the space available for Palestinian growth and movement for the benefit of the increasing Israeli settler population.[8]

 

Wikipedia URL

 

See also Chicago Hearing Video entitled #1 Freedom of Movement