Days of Palestine

Sunday, February 5

UN: Israeli checkpoints in WB hikes by 20% in 2015

Days of Palestine -

Days of Palestine, West Bank -UN said that the Israeli occupation forces established 91 new military checkpoint across the occupied West Bank in the fourth quarter of 2015.

According to a survey conducted at the end of December by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian Territories OCHA, these additional checkpoints, roadblocks and earth mounds represent 20 percent increase in overall number which is now 452.

The figures only relate to “those obstacles involving some kind of fixed infrastructure on the ground, thus excluding ad-hoc ‘flying’ checkpoints.”

OCHA noted that “the majority of the new obstacles are not staffed…and are located on secondary routes connecting Palestinian communities to main roads used by Israelis, primarily settlers.”

It continued: “These obstacles funnel Palestinian traffic into a limited number of junctions, usually controlled by checkpoints staffed by Israeli forces.”

According to the OCHA, “the detours required to reach accessible junctions and the prolonged delays (up to several hours in some cases) at checkpoints have impeded the access of people to services and undermined economic activity.

“The new closures directly impact, to various degrees, at least 850,000 Palestinians, the vast majority in Hebron governorate.”

In addition, the new checkpoints have themselves become the locations for stabbings or alleged stabbings against Israeli forces, incidents “usually concluding in the killing of the Palestinian perpetrator or suspected perpetrator.”

One checkpoint near Al-Khalil, for example, has “witnessed seven such attacks and alleged attacks, resulting in six Palestinian fatalities and five Israeli injuries.”