What kinds of checkpoints are there in the West Bank? | Machsomwatch
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What kinds of checkpoints are there in the West Bank?

Permanent checkpointsinfo-icon:  these include internal checkpoints (59) deep inside the West Bank area and far from the Green Line (1949 armistice lines and internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel despite the 1967 war and its resulting occupation), and entry-to-Israel checkpoints (39) through which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians get through on a daily basis to work inside Israel. In the Gaza Strip there are two checkpoints – one for pedestrians and the other for the transport of goods and fuel into Gaza City (these data are valid for January 2017, from the B’Tselem website). Some of the permanent checkpoints are operated by civilian security firms, subordinate to the Ministry of Defense Crossings Authority.


Flying checkpoints: hundreds of checkpoints (military and Border Police vehicles) are posted on main and side roads throughout the West Bank at junctions and in the vicinity of settler-colonies at changing or relatively permanent locations and at random times. At this checkpoints, Palestinian vehicles are stopped, their passengers detained, interrogated, fined or have their IDs and other documents confiscated, as well as their vehicles at times.


Permanent barriers: hundreds of physical barriers, both permanent and temporary, are placed at main entrances or side access roads into Palestinian villages deep in the West Bank area, at access points to main roads and in the middle of nowhere as well. These barriers are metal bars, locked metal gatesinfo-icon, large concrete slabs, earth dykes and ditches. At times these barriers are observed by soldiers in military vehicles, but mostly they are unmanned. At times of emergency these barriers are immovable, and in their everyday lives the villagers being blocked – the elderly, children, the disabled and ill patients – are forced to bypass them on foot with great difficulties. Women about to deliver or ill patients who must get to hospital urgently arrive at the barrier in a private vehicle and have to be carried over rocks and other obstacles on stretchers or in others’ arms, to the vehicle summoned at the other side.

Agricultural checkpoints:  About 70 of these are erected along the Separation Fence and enable limited passage of a limited number of Palestinian farmers to their lands, locked west of the Separation Fence, in an enclave ;named “The Seamline Zone”. Few of these checkpoints are opened every day, others only twice or three times a week, and most of them merely during farming seasons such as the olive harvest time. Hours in which they opened are also limited and shorten the farmers’ workday, impacting the tending and cultivation of their main source of income.

“Fabric of life” checkpoints: About 7500 Palestinians live on the western side of the Separation Fence, in enclaves lying between the fence and the Green Line (“the Seamline Zone”). Passage from the West Bank into the Seamline Zone requires a special permit which is not easily obtained. The whitewashed title “fabric of life” embodies the fact that the Separation Barrier does impact and injure many aspects of Palestinian life. The answer given by the occupier who has created the problem is, of course, far from satisfactory.