Israeli Occupation Forces Attempt to Deceive International World Opinion Regarding the Removal of a Number of Military Checkpoints in Northern West Bank.

Israeli Occupation Forces Attempt to Deceive International World Opinion Regarding the Removal of a Number of Military Checkpoints in Northern West Bank.
Photo 1: Innab Checkpoint in Tulkarem
Israeli media has published a number of reports and news items lately that indicated the willingness of the Israeli occupation to carryout some steps to improve the economic stance of West Bank Palestinians.  Such steps included the removal of a number of checkpoints during the month of June 2009 as to make it easier for goods and people to move easier in the West Bank.
The symbolic gestures came during the visits of the US President, Mr. Barak Obama, to Saudi Arabia and Egypt during which he called upon Israel to freeze colonial expansion, remove closures and to accept the concept of “Two States for Two People.” The number of the aforementioned closures has exceeded 650 including earthmounds, cemented road blocks, iron gates and stationary checkpoints guarded by Israeli occupation soldiers.
However, what took place on the ground was only a modification of a status of the checkpoints as some were enlarged and the mode of work was only amended. Some of these checkpoints were removed while keeping the basic infrastructure (military towers pill boxes, cement blocks, search rooms, etc.) intact which allows for the possible and speedy return of Israeli occupation soldiers at any given time. In the meantime, the small number of checkpoint that were totally removed they were useless to begin with as occupation forces have rarely used them n the near past due to their insignificance. As such, what has taken place in terms of closure removals was only a ploy used to enhance the image of the Israeli occupation in the international media.

Photo 2: Al Taneeb checkpoint which underwent a massive enlargement lately.
The following table provides information about the stationary checkpoints in the north of the West Ban that are manned by Israeli occupation soldiers. Additional information regarding the changes and development implemented there since February 2009 until the 1st of July, 2009 are also listed. 

Name of Checkpoint
Latest Developments
Huwwara CP
South of the city of Nablus near the village of Huwwara.
Work hours were expanded since the beginning of June 09 to become operational 24 hours (a departure from the 5:00 to 23:00 past operation hours).
The pedestrian lanes were removed. Only vehicles can now pass the CP since July 3rd, 2009.
Photo 3: the CP.
Beit Eiba CP
North of the city of Nablus near the town of Beit Eiba
Totally dismantled since March 2009.
An alternative new checkpoint was erected 2 kilometers north of the old CP. It is located near the entrance of the colony of Shavie Shomron. It is currently called Al Taneeb CP.   
Al Taneeb CP
On the main Nablus-Tulkarem Road near the entrance of the colony of Shavie Shomron, built of Deir Sharaf lands.
It’s been expanded as 3 vehicle lanes were added while additional military towers were also erected.
Permanent presence of Israeli occupation soldiers as the CP works 24 hours daily.
Innab CP
South of the town of Anabta in Tulkarem Governorate
The addition of 2 vehicle lanes with a permanent soldier presence at the CP. 
It’s been transformed into a terminal.
Awerta CP
South east of the city of Nablus near the village of Rujeeb
No changes have taken place as it is closed during the night hours with a permanent presence of Israeli soldiers. 
Beit Furik CP
East of the city of Nablys near the town of Beit Furik
Works 24 hours daily.
Permanent presence of Israeli soldiers
The presence of military observation towers, search rooms and pedestrian lanes.
Jit CP
West of the city of Nablus near the village of Jit
No change has taken place.
Israeli soldiers are present only occasionally.
Shavie Shomron CP
Northeast of the city of Nablus near the entrance of the colony of Shavie Shomron and the village of Sabastiya 
It is currently working 24 hours on daily basis. It used to be operational only 12 hours per day. The change took place in June 2009.
Continuous presence of Israeli soldiers.
17 CP
Northeast of the city of Nablus near the town of Asira Al Qibliya
It was totally removed with no presence of Israeli forces.

Photo 4: 17 CP during its dismantling. Pic by the Associated Press. 
Al Badan CP
East of the city of Nablus near the village of Al Badan
No change has been observed
Israeli soldiers are rarely present at the CP.
Ma’ale Efraym
Near the colony of Ma’ale Efraym. It separates the Governorate of Nablus from the Jordan Valley.
No change has taken place on the checkpoint. It has to be mentioned that Palestinian vehicles (with the exception of Jordan Valley vehicles) need permits to access the Valley through this CP. 
Al Hamra CP
East of Nablus Governorate near the village of Froosh Beit Dajan in the Jordan Valley
No change in terms of the presence of Israeli soldiers.
The CP works since June 2009 on 24 hour basis.
Al Tayaseer CP
East of the city of Tubas near the village of Tayaseer
No change in terms of the presence of Israeli soldiers.
The CP works since June 2009 on 24 hour basis.
Deir Baloot CP
Near the town of Deir Baloot west of Salfeet Governorate.
No change on the basic infrastructure of the CP in terms of observation tower, search rooms and pedestrian and vehicle lanes.
The soldiers at the CP are only present at specific times.
Za’atara CP
Located 14 kilometers south of the City of Nablus near the village of Yasuf
No changes to be mentioned in terms of the basic infrastructure of the CP or the presence of the Israeli soldiers manning it.
Photo 5: The observation tower and cement cubes still form an obstacle to Palestinian movement.
Located at the eastern entrance of the city of Qalqilia.
The checkpoint was NOT dismantled, contrary to Israeli media. Only a small number of Israeli soldiers stationed at the CP were removed. The lanes, observation and searching points and other infrastructure still remain.  
Photo 6: The DSO checkpoint.
Jaloud CP.
Near the village of Jaloud and Izbat Salman southeast the city of Qalqilia. 
It was totally removed on the 6th of July, 2009. It was established two years ago as a minor checkpoint with no plans of becoming a major one.
Kufryat CP
Near Khirbet Jabara south of the city of Tulkarem
Dismantled and removed in February 2009
Imreiha CP
West the town of Ya’abad on the old road connecting between Jenin and the city of Tulkarem
The checkpoint still as is in terms of the basic infrastructure.
It closes after 23:00 until 6:00.
It has to be mentioned that Israeli occupation forces still close down the entrances of a large number of villages and towns in the north of the West Bank while it prevents any communication between Palestinian communities using an entrenched system of closures. Such closures made life much more difficult for the Palestinians on a number of fronts including the health, education and economic fronts.
Photo 7: Shavie Shomron checkpoint with its military observation towers.
Comparing the facts on the ground as presented in the above table with the news filling the international media about the supposed “facilitation on Palestinian movement” in the northern West Bank, one can only deduce the farce Israeli propaganda has managed to pull. What took place in all actuality was an entrenchment of the presence of stationary checkpoints with some improvement in Palestinian movement. For example, Hiwwara checkpoint is currently undergoing massive expansion in basic infrastructure works including the addition of new lanes and observation towers in an attempt to make it a permanent crossing point. The same in taking place at Innab checkpoint as additional lanes and other infrastructure is being constructed as to transform it into a permanent passage point.
In terms of the other checkpoints in the north of the West Bank, most of them still have the basic infrastructure of checkpoints with Israeli soldiers manning them. Only minor modifications were presented such as the increase of the number of operation hours while keeping in mind that the functioning of these checkpoints depend largely on the mood of the soldiers and the “prevailing security situation”, as occupation forces claim. As for what was rumored about the eviction of some of the checkpoints, it turned out that these checkpoints were initially abandoned and do not have any soldier presence due to its low strategic importance. These checkpoints include Jaloud and Kufryat checkpoints.
Photo 8: The pedestrian lane at Huwwara checkpoint which was removed.

Map 1: Location of checkpoints

Categories: Checkpoints