New Terminals at West Bank Checkpoints

(June 7, 2005)


Throughout Judea and Samaria in recent months, new checkpoint facilities have been opened to enable speedy and efficient security checks in a minimum of time. This is intended to ease the live of the Palestinian residents who aren't involved in bringing terror to Israel.

The checkpoints are manned with advanced automatic inspections, complete with computerized systems that enable the precise and rapid identification of those passing through with continuous and rapid updating, with x-rays and metal detectors.

The improved crossings have been erected in both in places which did and did not previously have checkpoints, and were placed after examining where it would be possible to preserve and even improve the lives of the Palestinians using them.

Two of the checkpoints are already operating in terminals: one at the Shaar Ephraim Checkpoint, which opened at the end of June west of Tul Kerem; and the Bitonai Checkpoint, which opened about two months ago south of Ramallah. The Jelma crossing and additional crossings in Samaria and the area surrounding Jerusalem , are planned to open in the coming months. The region of Judea will start in a few more months with three more checkpoints being built as part of this project.

According to the facts provided by the civilian administration, the crossings at Shaar Ephraim and Jelma have capacities of up to 2,800 crossings per hour and are each expected to have about 10,000 crossers a day. Workers and merchants will be able go to work in Israel, along with crossing for cases of humanitarian need.

The Bitonai Crossing is for merchandise traveling between the heart of Israel and Judea and Samaria. The goods passing through the checkpoint consist primarily of agricultural produce, foods, textiles and building materials. About 300 trucks use this crossing every day.

The civilian management does not see changes in the quantity of future crossings, and thus the search and delays at the crossing are greatly reduced.

The checkpoints will be staffed by infantry soldiers, with female military police being assigned to search female crossers, an Arabic speaking officer from the Liaison and Coordination Administration, and soldiers from the crossing unit of the military police.

Infantry soldiers stationed at the checkpoints undergo special training, which enables them to carry out their assignments in a professional while adhering to the highest verification procedures in the world and cope with the situations likely to pop up at a checkpoint. The crossing unit of the military police was established about two years ago with the job of preventing terror incidents in Israel through professional searches as assigned at checkpoints while preserving a the way of life of the Palestinian residents.


Source: Israel Defense Forces