IDF at checkpoint 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In an effort to improve Palestinian quality of life, the Civil Administration of
Judea and Samaria removed a number of roadblocks on key roads throughout the
West Bank in recent weeks.
One of the roadblocks – called the Shomronim
Barrier – was removed several weeks ago, enabling Palestinians to travel between
the Samaritan neighborhood located next to Nablus to the city of Nablus. A
roadblock next to the village of Zvata was also removed, connecting it to
In total, roadblocks were lifted from six roads near Tulkarem,
Nablus, Balata and Ariel.
Sources in the civil administration said that
the decision to remove the roadblocks was made recently in line with government
policy for alleviating restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank due to the
drop in terrorist activity.
“Lately, in light of increased stability and
calm in the region, the IDF and the civil administration are making efforts to
facilitate Palestinian movement throughout the territories,” one official
Since 2008, the IDF has evacuated some 30 manned checkpoints
throughout the West Bank, leaving 11, mostly located along the Green
“Nowadays, Palestinians can travel from northern Samaria to
southern Judea within record time while crossing maybe one checkpoint, when
three years ago it would have taken a few hours and they would have had to cross
several checkpoints,” another officer said.
Israel is also continuing to
allow Palestinian battalions to train in Jordan. Eight battalions have already
deployed in the West Bank, consisting of about 4,000 policemen trained by the
Increased cooperation in recent years between Israel and
the Palestinian Authority has enabled the IDF to rely on PA forces to crack down
on Hamas terrorist infrastructure and, as a result, to scale back operations
inside Palestinian cities.
The training of the Palestinian battalions is
overseen by Lt.-Gen. Michael Moeller, who took up the post as the United States
security coordinator to Israel and the PA in place of Lt.- Gen. Keith Dayton in
late 2010. Moeller, a former B-52 bomber pilot in the US Air Force, is
responsible for the training of the PA forces in Jordan as well as the ongoing
reforms throughout the PA security establishment.