UN: Roadblocks in W. Bank increase

UN cites 612 roadblocks at end of March, a rise of 61.4% since August 2005.

idf roadblock 298 88 idf (photo credit: IDF [file])
idf roadblock 298 88 idf
(photo credit: IDF [file])
The UN charged Wednesday that the number of roadblocks impeding Palestinian travel in the West Bank has increased by 61.4 percent since August 2005, in spite of recent measures taken by the IDF to ease such restrictions. According to numbers released by the UN in its latest Movement and Access Report on Wednesday, there were 612 West Bank roadblocks at the end of March, compared with 376 in August of 2005. These numbers do not include checkpoints placed along the Green Line. The report, which comes out twice a month, was compiled before the IDF said it removed 60 roadblocks as a gesture to the Palestinians. But, according to the UN, only five roadblocks out of the 60 were on its list, thereby dropping the overall number of West Bank roadblocks down to 607. The UN said that the IDF had removed 44 roadblocks at the start of April but that 39 of those were so insignificant they were not included on the UN's list, which it said was compiled based on criteria set out with the IDF. Prior to the IDF's removal of roadblocks at the start of April, the IDF had actually placed an additional 27 roadblocks in the West Bank, according to the UN. In the UN's mid-March movement and access report, there were 580 West Bank roadblocks, of which 87 were manned and 493 were not.