Saturday, April 19, 2008

Between games and propaganda: the removal of checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank

Erected in the morning, removed in the afternoon......

Contributed by Palestine Monitor

"......Misleading propaganda
The Israeli military or the Defence Ministry regularly announce the removal of roadblocks or checkpoints to “make life easier for Palestinians”, or as a “gesture of goodwill towards the Palestinians”. These announcements are always well covered in international media, serving as a perfect propaganda tool for Israel.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has become a specialist in proudly announcing these removals. But careful research on the ground reveals that the Israeli claims are consistently misleading or even downright lies. Each time the same techniques are used: removing checkpoints that had been abandoned years ago or that had been replaced by other checkpoints nearby, erecting new roadblocks and removing them on the same day, removing roadblocks in the middle of open fields or just claiming to have removed certain roadblocks that did not actually exist in the first place.

At Annapolis, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had promised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the number of roadblocks would be reduced. However data from OCHA, B’Tselem and Machsom Watch proves that the numbers have increased, from 563 to 580.

Checkpoints, roadblocks and segregated roads, have all become a grim part of daily life for Palestinians living in the West Bank, where the Israeli occupation has evolved into a fully fledged Apartheid system. Soldiers play their games with impunity while everybody knows who will be the winners and the losers."

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