Friday, May 10, 2002

Part of the general plan of ethnic cleansing being conducted against the Palestinians involves a concerted effort at humiliating them in the guise of providing for 'security'. The Israelis have set up an enormous number of military checkpoints in the West Bank. If these were for security, presumably it would not be possible to get through without passing the checkpoint. Here is a quote from Hady Amr:

"Israel’s acts belie an underlying crude objective of “disgrace” and “revenge” that has little to do with “security.” This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that Israeli military checkpoints on Palestinian land regularly refused to allow any passage ostensibly for security reasons, yet I along with tens of thousands of Palestinians have been nastily told by Israeli soldiers that we could get around checkpoints if we were willing to walk a mile through the mud, over a hill and through a quarry to make our daily commute instead of driving on a paved road."

Many of the checkpoints require two different means of transportation as vehicles aren't allowed through. Once at the checkpoints, the Palestinians have to proceed on foot, and are subject to long and arbitrary delays. As the checkpoints have been the subject of Palestinian attack, the soldiers fear for their own safety and are apt to be 'trigger-happy'. The constant delays waste time and increase the price of goods which have to be transported. There are also problems with people becoming ill waiting at checkpoints, and restrictions on the timely passage of emergency vehicles. Since the checkpoints are a collective punishment which forms the focus of much of the day-to-day anger of the Palestinians (there are some amazing stories of the degradation), it is arguable that they reduce security to Israel. The point of the constant delays and humiliation has to be to eventually wear down the Palestinians until they decide that life in the Occupied Territories is untenable.