Security Crossing Improvements in Judea and Samaria
(September 6, 2005)
Improvements and technological enhancements implemented by the IDF in the security crossings and roadblocks in the West Bank
"The status has changed considerably over the past two years; we've removed over half of the security crossings and roadblocks in the West Bank. The active security crossings and roadblocks are active as part of the effort to combat terror, but despite that, hundreds of security crossings and roadblocks have been removed as part of a long term plan. There isn't a curfew or encirclement on any Palestinian city. In addition to this we've introduced advanced technological means at the crossings which allow for quick and efficient security checks. We've improved the conditions at the crossings; adding roofs, clinics and drinking stations."
For the past four years, the State of Israel and the IDF have been forced to confront an unprecedented series of terror attacks against Israeli targets. During this period of time, more than a thousand Israeli civilians and residents were killed and thousands more were wounded in more than 20,000 terror attacks. The IDF has been operating against the Palestinian terror infrastructure during the past four years, as it will continue to do in the future, in order to thwart terror attacks and to protect Israeli civilians. One of the numerous methods used by the IDF in order to prevent terrorists from reaching their goals and carrying out attacks against Israelis is conducting security checks in crossings that are located at the exits of Palestinian cities, and in other locations throughout the West Bank.
Relentless terror attacks are what led to the use of security checks. The IDF policy in the West Bank is to differentiate between the Palestinian terror factions and the Palestinian civilian population which is not involved in terrorism. In accordance with this policy the IDF is perpetually examining methods to ease the restrictions on the civilian population. The perception is implemented in the security checkpoints, which do not serve as barriers but are used to check those crossing.
Those who pose no threat or are not associated with terror have no problems passing through the security checks.
Over this past year, several changes have been decided upon, as well as a redefinition of the policy and perception of the security checks, which has been manifested in the following ways:
Removal of crossings:
In January, 2004, there were 25 security crossings throughout Judea and Samaria. Both temporary and permanent security crossings; this figure includes encirclement crossings and seam zone crossings situated in various locations throughout the West Bank. The IDF has removed 13 of these crossings and an additional 87 roadblocks and so to date, there are 12 security crossings and 66 roadblocks These figures show an over 50% decrease in the number of active crossings.
Training of IDF soldiers serving at crossings:
During the past several years, the IDF has and is continuing to develop and implement training programs for those soldiers serving at security crossings, in an effort to enable the soldiers to carry out their work in the most moral and respectful way possible.
The following are two of the various programs that have been developed as a part of this effort:
Due to this training, there has been a significant decrease in the complaints of Palestinian civilians to the Civil Administration humanitarian hotline regarding the security crossings.
Improvements in the technological and logistical aspects of the crossings:
The IDF has technologically enhanced the crossings in the West Bank in order to ease the conditions for the Palestinian population.
Amongst the improvements that have been implemented are:
The IDF's policy is to ease as much as possible the lives of the Palestinian population not involved in terror, and in accordance with the security situation, the IDF has decided upon the following easing of restrictions:
Over the past two months (since the beginning of April), 25 Palestinians have been apprehended at crossing points. Among these, two Palestinian youths who were apprehended when they attempted to carry out a terror attack using 3 pipe bombs on April 5th, 2005 southwest of Nablus, near Har Grizim.
A 14 year old Palestinian youth who arrived at the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, on May 22nd 2005 with two pipe bombs strapped to his body and a lighter with which he intended to detonate the bombs at the soldiers at the crossing.
A Palestinian carrying an explosive belt concealed in a bag arrived at a security crossing near Biet Eiba on May 27th, 2005. The belt was constructed of 4 pipe bombs and weighed 2 kg.
All these incidents prove that the crossing points have a sole purpose- that of saving lives.