IDF: 70 dirt roadblocks have been lifted since March

In effort to ease the travel restrictions imposed on the Palestinians, and in an attempt to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the IDF has removed 70 dirt roadblocks throughout the West Bank since March, the army announced on Monday. The IDF says that the roadblock removal was just part of a larger plan which has progressively been implemented since US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Israel two months ago and encouraged government officials in Jerusalem to implement goodwill gestures for the Palestinians. Since that visit, the IDF has also removed a number of major checkpoints. In April, the army lifted the Rimonim checkpoint, between Ramallah and the Jordan Valley; on Sunday, the Kevesim checkpoint was removed; and on Tuesday, a checkpoint between Jericho and the Dead Sea is expected to be dismantled.