B'Tselem's recommendations for easing travel in the West Bank

27 Jun 2007

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has sent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a 15 point plan containing roadblocks and obstructions that must be dismantled immediately, to ease the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank. The list includes obstacles to travel that seem to have no security value, or which cause disproportionate harm to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

B'Tselem points out that the list is partial. It includes, for example, the obstruction blocking entry of Palestinian vehicles to the road that settlers living in Qedar once used, but which is now empty of vehicles. The list also includes a checkpoint whose only function is to prevent Palestinians from going to the beaches of the Dead Sea, and roads on which the prohibition of carrying Palestinians has been removed, but the obstructions preventing Palestinian access to the road have remained.

In its letter to the Prime Minister, B'Tselem notes that one wonders why the checkpoints, obstructions, roadblocks, and restrictions mentioned in the document continue. It is hard to decide, the organization states, whether they result from foolishness or perhaps cruelty, specifically in light of the Prime Minister's statement that Israel is not indifferent to the suffering of Palestinians.