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Home > English > Website archives > Rainbow of Crisis > B’Tselem appeals for Palestinian movement in the West Bank


B’Tselem appeals for Palestinian movement in the West Bank

Thursday 28 June 2007

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem urged Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to remove roadblocks and obstructions in the West Bank and ease the movement of Palestinians in the area, said the organization in a press release yesterday.

The group has developed a comprehensive 15-point document listing travel obstacles that are of no security value and cause disproportionate harm to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

For example, B’Tselem calls for the dismantling of an obstruction, blocking entry of Palestinian vehicles to the road that settlers living in Qedar once used, but which is now empty of vehicles. The list also includes a checkpoint whose only function is to prevent Palestinians from going to the beaches of the Dead Sea, and roads on which the prohibition of carrying Palestinians has been removed, but the obstructions preventing Palestinian access to the road have remained.

The organization questions the existence of these unnecessary checkpoints, roadblocks, and restrictions mentioned in the document. It is hard to decide, the organization states, whether they result from foolishness or perhaps cruelty, specifically in light of the Prime Minister’s statement that Israel is not indifferent to the suffering of Palestinians.

Another human rights group – the U.S.-Israeli Peace Now, also released a report revealing a total of 93 manned checkpoints, 58 of which were checkpoints inside the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and have no relation to entering Israel.

The report also listed 467 unmanned checkpoints - gates, cement blocks or earth mounds, remain in place throughout the West Bank. Similarly to B’Tselem, the group included that 83% of checkpoints inside the West Bank have no security applications to Israel. The main effect of these internal checkpoints, according to Peace Now, is to restrict the freedom of movement of Palestinians.