Israeli checkpoints create ’21st-century apartheid’

Days of Palestine - Ramallah

Israeli checkpoints are military points set up by the Israeli occupation army to subject Palestinian citizens to searches, arrests, and field executions in cold blood, impeding movement, humiliation, and various degrading practices, and a place for settlers who take advantage of them to be protected by occupation soldiers by attacking Palestinians and their property.

The Israeli military checkpoints are spread in the vicinity and the heart of all the Palestinian governorates, in addition to the establishment of them in various places along the apartheid wall.

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Since the start of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, the Israeli occupation authorities have established hundreds of fixed checkpoints, as well as mobile, that isolate Palestinian communities from each other, prevent them from communicating, and hinder the movement of citizens between them.

In September 2011, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were 522 checkpoints impeding the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank; In addition to an average of 495 flying checkpoints per month.

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These checkpoints are managed by the occupation army, police, or border guards, or by private companies that are contracted with.

Most of these checkpoints are equipped with surveillance cameras, military towers, iron gates, inspection rooms, waiting areas, and special lanes for searching cars and Palestinian citizens.

The Israeli military checkpoints were, and still are, a major obstacle and cause of the deterioration of the economic, social, health, and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinians, and one of the arenas in which the Israeli occupation authorities practice their racism against the Palestinians and their rebellion against all international conventions and norms, and what encourages them to have their impunity so far.

A new research study concluded that the Palestinians lose more than $400 million annually as a result of the military checkpoints in which the occupation authorities tear up the ties of cities and villages in the occupied West Bank.

According to a study prepared by the Institute for Applied Research "ARIJ", entitled "Assessment of the economic and environmental impacts of the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation on the movement and movement of Palestinian citizens between cities and villages in the West Bank", this study, which lasted for six months of data collection, showed that the Palestinians lose Around 60 million working hours per year due to these restrictions.

In the details of the study, the cost of working hours wasted due to the Israeli occupation policies is estimated at about 270 million USD annually, in addition to the consumption of additional fuel at about 80 million liters per year, the costs of which are estimated at 135 million USD.

It stated that the study aims to "assess the economic and environmental effects of the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation on the movement of Palestinian citizens between cities and villages in the West Bank on the one hand, and on the other hand between the West Bank and the lands occupied in 1948 in addition to East Jerusalem."

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There are currently more than 700 Israeli checkpoints across the West Bank, and only during last September Euro-Med Monitor documented that Israel has set up additional 300 flying checkpoints throughout the West Bank. These checkpoints maintain onerous restrictions on the movements of the Palestinians in the West Bank. Contrary to the Israeli claims over security, these checkpoints appear to exist merely for the benefit of the Israeli settlements that are themselves illegal under international law.

In late 2019, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated that damage Israel occupation has inflicted on the Palestinian economy between 2000-2017 to be around $48 billion. A 2020 UNCTAD report concluded that Israeli checkpoints alone have been costing the West Bank’s economy a minimum of 6% of Palestinian GDP. The report added that placing one checkpoint one minute away from a locality reduces the probability of being employed by 0.41 percent, the hourly wage by 6.3 percent and working days by 2.6 percent.

Other estimates have pointed out that Israeli checkpoints and restrictions in the West Bank cost Palestinian workers more than 60 million hours of work annually, the estimated loss of which stands at about $270 million per year. Checkpoints and restrictions increase Palestinian fuel consumption by nearly 80 million liters per year, the costs of which are estimated at $135 million.

“Checkpoints are a symbol of Palestinian subjugation and repression. They should only be dismantled, rather than merely improved. A gilded cage is still a cage," said Ahmed Nasri, Campaign officer at Euro-Med Monitor.


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