IDF to dismantle crossing near Jericho

Army says move part of "effort to improve freedom of movement for the civilian Palestinian population."

jericho checkpoint 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
jericho checkpoint 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
The army will remove the Vered Yericho Crossing, south of Jericho in the West Bank, on Wednesday, in order to allow free movement for vehicles and pedestrians from the city to the Jordan Valley, the IDF Spokesman said Wednesday. According to the announcement, the decision was made following an assessment by the IDF's OC Central Command as part of the government's plan to ease travel restrictions for the Palestinians. "The removal of the crossing joins the removal of some 140 roadblocks and eight central checkpoints over the past year in an effort to improve freedom of movement for the civilian Palestinian population in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley," the army said. "The IDF will continue to act according to the policy of the diplomatic echelon and situation assessments in order to provide relief to the Palestinian populace, while safeguarding the security of the citizens of Israel and fighting terror infrastructures with determination," the announcement concluded. Two weeks ago, the IDF opened the 422 crossing and the Ha'ble roadblock, located east and south of Kalkilya respectively, for free passage of Palestinian vehicles. The army also said then that Atzira a-Shamalia, a central checkpoint located near Nablus, would now operate 24 hours a day, easing movement in the area. A week before that, the Rimonim roadblock east of Ramallah and the Bir Zeit roadblock were removed. Settlers fumed over that decision, with the Binyamin Citizen's Committee accusing Defense Minister Ehud Barak of "playing Russian roulette with the lives of the Jewish settlers."