Not just a Palestinian issue: Many settlers have been complaining recently of major delays at West Bank roadblocks.
The complaints prompted National Union Knesset members to look into the matter by visiting the Hizma checkpoint on Tuesday. While the settlers claim they were delayed for no reason, police say the delays were merely the result of heavy traffic.
Settlers from Binyamin are claiming that recent weeks have seen repeated delays at the checkpoints, specifically in the morning hours. Heavy traffic was felt "due to strit security checks which do not spare Israeli citizens," one settler official said.
MKs get a close watch (Photo: Arik Ben-Shimon, National Union)
According to the settlers, Border Guard officers stationed at the checkpoint north of Jerusalem take a long time checking the trunks of their cars while ordering passengers to step out of their vehicles.
MKs Yaakov Katz, Arieh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari visited the Hizma checkpoint Tuesday morning. Settlers claimed that heavy traffic was felt in the area prior to the lawmakers' arrival and having spotted them, Border Guard forces made sure to man all stations and consequently relieved the congestion.
'Checkpoints make residents' lives miserable' (Photo: Arik Ben-Shimon, National Union)
"IDF checkpoints in Judea and Samaria's seam lines have turned from a means to fight Arab terrorism into a means to make the lives of Jewish settlers miserable due to lack of consideration, unwillingness to assist, and imperviousness," MK Eldad said.
He noted that the Hizma checkpoint "operated well this morning" adding: "We realized that when all three routes are fully manned, traffic flows and checks are properly performed."
Jerusalem Police said in response: "No changes were made to the security checks and an effort is being made to make the lives of residents passing through the checkpoints easier." Police said the delays were the result of "normal morning traffic."
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