Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Roadblocks Cripple West Bank Economy

By Mel Frykberg

"HEBRON, West Bank, Jul 22 (IPS) - The Israeli military has erected three additional roadblocks, further blocking vehicular access on the road between the south Hebron village of At-Tuwani and the commercial hub of Yatta in the southern West Bank.....

However, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in May that the number of West Bank closure obstacles had risen from 566 to 607 from September last year to the end of April this year.

According to OCHA, six of the roadblocks on Barak's list of 61 were left in place. Another 11 simply never existed. A close examination of the 44 roadblocks which existed and were removed revealed that most of them had no implications whatsoever for Palestinians' freedom of movement. Only five of these 44 obstacles were classified by the UN as "significant" for Palestinians living in the area.

OCHA further explained that some of the checkpoints had been abandoned years ago. Others had been erected by Israeli Defence Forces that day, only to be removed later the same day while still counted in the tally of checkpoints allegedly removed......"

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