The “Peace Now” movement published a report Wednesday demanding the removal of dozens of IDF checkpoints in the West Bank.
“Some of the checkpoints create terror rather than prevent it. People stand in the heat for hours, and that affects their lives,” said Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer. According to him, removing internal checkpoints won’t affect Israel’s security.
Hawara checkpoint in Nablus (archive photo: Reuters)
The group said in a statement that decreasing the number of checkpoints would give the local Palestinian population a “sense of normalcy” and help Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “prevent the West Bank from becoming another Gaza”.
According to the report, there are currently 93 manned checkpoints throughout the West Bank, in addition to 467 roadblocks, such as gates, ditches and sand mounds.
The group claims that most checkpoints are unnecessary as the Palestinians have to pass through additional roadblocks before entering Israel.
“A drive that took 20 minutes in the past now takes an hour-and-a-half,” the group said.
Peace Now specifically called for the removal of the checkpoint situated along the Nablus-Jenin road and another in the Ramallah area.
The IDF said in response that the demand is impractical, saying “terror elements are attempting to carry out attacks against Israeli citizens and soldiers not only in Israel but in the West Bank as well”.