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PHOTOS: For Palestinians, checkpoints can pop up at any time

 Nearly 60 percent of the 96 Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank do not lead to Israel, but rather separate Palestinian cities and towns. Sometimes, checkpoints pop up in response to security incidents, other times there is no explanation at all.

By Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers block Huwwara checkpoint, the main entrance of Nablus city, for 90 minutes, May 31, 2015. Israeli forces sealed the Nablus district and closed all its gates and checkpoint after contact was lost with an Israeli truck driver who was initially feared kidnapped, later resurfaced. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers block Huwwara checkpoint, the main entrance of Nablus city, for 90 minutes, May 31, 2015. Israeli forces sealed the Nablus district and closed all its gates and checkpoints after contact was lost with an Israeli truck driver who was initially feared kidnapped, but who later resurfaced. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli forces sealed the Nablus district and closed the city for 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon, after contact was lost with an Israeli truck driver who was initially feared kidnapped but who resurfaced a short time later.

Soldiers blocked the main three entrances of the West Bank city of Nablus — the Huwwara checkpoint, Beit Furik checkpoint and Beit Iba checkpoint — in addition to a number of gates in surrounding villages. Hundreds of cars full of students and workers were forced to wait on both sides of the checkpoints.

The checkpoints were reopened the Israeli army confirmed that contact had been reestablished with the driver and no incidents had been reported.

Related:
Replacing the peace process with a civil rights struggle
PHOTOS: West Bank villagers protest: Open our gate!

This was an extraordinary incident. But Palestinians suffer from checkpoints — especially flying checkpoints that appear without any notice — on a daily basis. Days earlier, Israeli troops closed the only gate to the Palestinian villages of Beit Furik and Beit Dagan, also near Nablus.

There are 96 fixed checkpoints in the West Bank, 57 of which are internal, only 39 of which lead to Israel — the remaining 57 separate Palestinian cities and towns, according to B’Tselem. In April 2015, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) counted 361 flying checkpoints.

In addition to manned checkpoints, the Israeli army has blocked roads with 358 physical barriers in 2014. According to B’Tselem, as of March 2015, there were 60.92 kilometers of roads in the West Bank that Palestinians are forbidden from driving on.

Israeli soldiers block Huwwara checkpoint, the main entrance of Nablus city, for 90 minutes, May 31, 2015. Israeli forces sealed the Nablus district and closed all its gates and checkpoint after contact was lost with an Israeli truck driver who was initially feared kidnapped, later resurfaced. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers block Huwwara checkpoint, the main entrance of Nablus city, for 90 minutes, May 31, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers check Palestinian cars at Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers check Palestinian cars at Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers check Palestinian cars at Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers check Palestinian cars at Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers check Palestinian cars at Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers check Palestinian cars at Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

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    1. Whiplash

      The poor Palestinians. Can someone give them a towel to cry in or to conceal weapons and bomb making equipment? Police set up checkpoints all the time for drunk drivers and for fishermen who catch over their limit. Catching Palestinians involved in terror and criminal activities by setting up checkpoints seems very reasonable.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Professor Sternhell:

        “The problem lies deep within Israeli society. After nearly half a century of controlling the territories, most Israelis view the colonial regime as something to be taken for granted and the invalidation of the Palestinians’ rights as part of the natural order of things.

        The segregation of the buses was an interesting symbolic test that reflected reality. The average Israeli will rebel against apartheid only the day he’s barred from trading with Europe and has to wait three months for a visa to visit Paris.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Jello

          It is taken for granted that there are some Palestinians that want to attack Israelis with the full support of the majority of the other Palestinians. This is borne out by act and polls. Thus it is taken for granted that security measures to deal with this are also unavoidable and necessary.

          The average Israeli will not rebel against any security measures he sees as necessary to defending him and his family from those trying to kill him. Between the lives of their loved ones and a trip to Paris one would have to be a sickening excuse for a human being to choose the latter and an even worse one to think that Israelis would do so.

          Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Professor Hell, oops, I mean Sternhell, knows full well that all the Palestinian Arabs need to do to end the “occupation” is to sign a peace deal in which they agree to end the state of hostilities against the Jewish state and which would be underpinned by appropriate security arrangements. That would mean…

          1. Recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

          2. Renouncing the so called right of return of the descendants Palestinian Arab refugees which now number 4 million people and who should be given citizenship in the Arab countries where they live because those Arab countries kicked out even more Jews who also became refugees and who now live in Israel together with their millions of descendants.

          No country in Israel’s position would be willing to end the “occupation” without a peace deal first. Otherwise, what would stop the Palestinians from continuing their 100 year war against us, from a stronger position?

          Reply to Comment
      • Weiss

        Warsaw Ghetto – version 2.0

        And just like the courageous Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto they resisted.

        THIS Jew will NOT be SILENT!!!

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “THIS Jew will NOT be SILENT!!!”

          One has to wonder…

          On what ground is this Weiss chappy calling himself “a Jew”?

          One can be a Jew only be a Jew by one or both of two means…

          1. If the individual believes in the Jewish religion.

          2. If the individual identifies himself as part of the Jewish nation. That, in our times means that the person has an affinity to the Jewish nation state, Israel.

          Weiss clearly does not belong to category 2. So the only way he has the right to claim to be a Jew is if he believes in God and Jewish religious practices. Of course, most, except a small minority of leftists tend to be atheists and do not practice religion.

          So, our Mr Weiss is a bit of an enigma. He constantly insists that he is a Jew. But I suspect that the only Jew in him are his parents who probably are/were Jews. But if my suspicions about Weiss are right, he himself is well underway of shedding his Jewishness because I doubt that he is Jewish either by category 1. Or category 2.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Weiss, do you hear what he’s telling us? Like other things he says you have to repeat it because it’s hard to believe he’s saying it–such as that Lisa Goldman and Noam Sheizaf are the equivalent of Meir Kahane (does he think Meretz should be banned? He won’t say)–he’s telling us that being a Jew is defined by a right wing political litmus test! And he really means this. You’re not “a real Jew.” He’s whispering in the rabbi’s ear that you’ve forgotten what it means to be Jewish. Because your politics are not extreme right and you show concern for the goyim. Is he writing from the propaganda wing of the PMO? But even Bibi had to apologize for that one. The Jewish Inquisition is upon us! It was only a matter of time. Because he’s saying it’s all about personal religious faith and right wing nationalism! And yet his country’s laws say it’s all about who one’s biological relatives are or barring those qualifications an exacting and onerous orthodox conversion and practice. Would he like to change those laws? Weiss he’s telling you you’re not a Jew! And neither was Yeshayahu Leibowitz. And neither is Lisa Goldman. And neither is Noam Sheizaf. Or Ami Kaufman or Mairav Zonszein. Etc. You’re all excommunicated by Rabbi Gustavus. And he goes around here accusing OTHERS of chutzpah! I almost choked on my Earl Grey tea reading this this morning! To his dismay no doubt, I survived.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Do you hear what he is telling us?”

            You certainly don’t Benny. Here, once again for the slow witted…

            Objectively speaking, there are two possible criteria for someone being Jewish:

            1. Either on a religious basis. That is, the individual believes in God and the Jewish religion.

            2. Or on a national basis. That is, one must identify with the Jewish nationality.

            I don’t think even you would dispute my first criteria (religious basis) would ya, Benny? So I will concentrate on the second one (the nationality)…

            There is a very simple test to see if one complies with the (nationality) test. No need to bring “left wing” or “right wing” into it. If one believes in the right of the Jewish people to have their own state and to ensure it’s survival, and one has Jewish roots, then that person can also be considered to be Jewish, even if they are extreme left wingers in every other way. Heck, Ben Gurion was a left winger and many of the early Zionist pioneers were left wingers…

            Now let’s examine why a person who does not fit either criteria cannot be Jewish…

            They cannot be Jewish because the lineage of that person cannot possibly survive as Jews. A person who does not practice judaism nor does he believe in Jewish nationhood has no means of hanging onto his or her Jewish identity. In time, their children or children’s children will forget that any one in their family was ever born Jewish. It is inevitable.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Let’s see what this little troll, Benny is saying…

            He is saying that Lisa Goldman, Ami Kaufman, Noam Sheizaf and Mairav Zonszein are not practicing religious Jews nor do they believe in the right of the Jewish people to have our own state and to survive as a Jewish nation.

            I am not sure that they DO think like that. But if they do, then my obvious question is…

            WHAT MAKES THEM JEWISH?!

            Their mothers and fathers? Nah, there is more to it than that. In my book, a true Jewish person wants to see the survival of the Jewish people as a people and not to grant a post humous victory to those who wanted to exterminate us as a people!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “the Jewish nation..the Jewish nation state….the right of the Jewish people to have our own state and to survive as a Jewish nation.”

            Gustav pal,

            You’re presenting something very complex and complicated as if it were simple and black and white. It’s a strawman setup. A specious framing of the issues. Weiss obviously has a political difference with you about what all these code words you throw around and string together here mean and should mean and should not mean and how they should be implemented in the real world, differences within the vast areas of politics opened up by these code words. The last many months of posts here make that clear. (In fact that vast area of differences is the whole point and raison d’être of +972. You’re attacking Weiss as a proxy for +972.) That makes him not Jewish? Hello?

            “…to grant a post humous victory to those who wanted to exterminate us as a people!”

            So what strawman wants to do that? Weiss the Strawman? Sheizaf the Strawman? Please put that bag of straw away!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You are talking gibberish again.

            Weiss seems to be awfully reluctant to give me his criteria about how to decide whether someone is Jewish or not.

            Why do you think he is so reluctant, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Weiss

            Nope …

            It’s much much WORSE than that Schlomo…

            I am your WORST nightmare:

            A JEW WITH A CONSCIENCE…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No, Weiss, you got me all wrong. I admire people with a conscience, so that bit is not nightmarish to me.

            I only question what makes you a Jew? Do you believe that we the Jewish people have a right to have and independent Jewish nation which has to not only to survive but to thrive?

            Even if you don’t, you can still be Jewish provided that you are a practicing religious Jew.

            But if you fit neither of the above, what makes you a Jew rather than some other nationality (depending on where you live)?

            You can either answer sensibly or evade answering by giving me another one of your beautiful slogans and that too will be an answer of sorts. Sensible people will get the appropriate message from it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Weiss

            Try this slogan:

            Human rights for all people …

            Even the “goyim”

            That is what Judaism is about, not this twisted sadistic Zionist version of Fascism.

            How dare you question my “Jewishness”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Human rights for all people …”

            Nice slogan Weiss. I like it. But do you mean Jews too, when you say “all people”? Or do you mean only the Saint Palestinians? Because you do know that in reality, the Palestinian Arabs have not exactly been respecting or worrying about OUR human rights!

            You have heard about their 100 year war against us, haven’t you Weiss? You have heard about their Fedayeen before there was “occupation”? You have heard about Hamas, haven’t you Weiss?

            Or does your conscience only bother you when Palestinian Arabs are hurt?

            … and sigh, you still haven’t answered me: what makes YOU a Jew, Weiss? Is it one or both of my criteria? I highly doubt that! So what are your alternative criteria, Weiss???? Or are you just fond of mouthing empty slogans?

            Reply to Comment
          • Weiss

            I must adhere to YOUR criteria for being qualified to be a Jew?

            How phucking arrogant can you get???

            With equal rights for all means ALL people …

            Are you incapable of understanding the meaning of the word “all” ???

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Phucking? What’s that Weiss?

            No, you need not adhere to my criteria of what is a Jew. I asked what is your criteria but I don’t recall seeing an answer from you. Nu, Weiss?

            Reply to Comment
          • David

            Jews attacking a Jew about what is a Jew, exactly.

            That says it all.

            Knock yourselves out, fellas.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      You won’t even admit there’s an occupation and you want to lecture us on human rights? You’re not a serious interlocutor. And how is that again? You think releasing them from a cruel 48-year occupation is to exterminate you?

      *

      “You have heard about their 100 year war against us”

      Only from you actually. I have heard from others about the 100 year conflict between you and them. And the 48 year occupation by you of them. See what a difference between, by, and of make? You got the prepositions wrong.

      *

      “…the Jewish nation..the Jewish nation state….the right of the Jewish people to have our own state and to survive as a Jewish nation.”

      Gustav, with your Chinese menu of Judaism you’ve tossed out the most basic and simplest definition of who is a Jew–a person is a Jew by birth or becomes one through religious conversion–in the service of a political trick. Again, (1) you’re presenting something very complex and complicated as if it were simple and black and white, and you’re doing it with a bunch of slippery right wing nationalist code words. Weiss disagrees with you regarding these code words as I noted above. (2) you’re telling us that being a Jew is defined by a right wing political litmus test! You’ve taken the mix of vapors that the mix of secular nationalists and national religious traipsing around the West Bank with guns slung on their shoulders and knitted caps on their head inchoately and arrogantly tell themselves is Judaism and presented it as a universal definition! That’s no gibberish. If you think this is gibberish then you don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. Gee you seem awfully reluctant to answer me Gustav. I wonder why that is? Nu? You are presenting your bogus definition of a Jew as if these slippery code words were self evident anodyne descriptors just everyone should agree to. They aren’t and they don’t. And you’re presenting a litmus test of Judaism that ignores millions of Jews and given the real meanings you extreme rightists have shown you really attach to your slippery code words, probably rules out even Herzl and Jabotinsky as Jews! And in order to present that political litmus test you’ve blithely tossed out THE most basic and simple definition of who is a Jew: a person is a Jew by birth or becomes one through religious conversion. You had to do that to present your fake question.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “You won’t even admit there’s an occupation and you want to lecture us on human rights? You’re not a serious interlocutor. And how is that again? You think releasing them from a cruel 48-year occupation is to exterminate you?”

        I am lecturing YOU about human rights? No, my trollish friend. I am countering your incessant accusations against us and reminding you that your Saint Palestinians are not innocents. Nothing happens in a vacuum. For instance, the road blocks are there to prevent terrorism. The security barrier is there to prevent terrorism. The border police are there to prevent stone throwers from stoning Israeli vehicles. Get it, troll? Nothing happens out of context.

        *

        GUSTAV:“You have heard about their 100 year war against us”

        BEN:”Only from you actually. I have heard from others about the 100 year conflict between you and them. And the 48 year occupation by you of them. See what a difference between, by, and of make? You got the prepositions wrong.”

        *

        Only from me? You are wilfully blind. So you haven’t heard about the 1929 massacre of Hebron’s Jews by your Arab buddies? Was there occupation in 1929? No, there wasn’t!

        You haven’t heard about the Arab revolt in the 1930s in which they massacred hundreds of Jews? Was there occupation in the 1930s? No there wasn’t

        You haven’t heard about the riot of your darling Palestinian Arabs in 1947 after the UN announced Resolution 181 which voted for an Arab state and a Jewish state? Was there occupation in 1947, Benny? No there wasn’t!

        You haven’t heard about the Fedayeen terrorist attacks by your Palestinian friends between 1948 and 1967, in which they maimed and murdered our civilians?

        It goes on and on Benny…

        You haven’t heard about the suicide bombing campaign against us by both the PLO and Hamas following Ehud Barak’s 2000/2001 peace offers? It went on from 2000 to 2006 till we stopped it by building the security barrier.

        You are willfully blind Benny, AKA MuslimJew!

        GUSTAV:“…the Jewish nation..the Jewish nation state….the right of the Jewish people to have our own state and to survive as a Jewish nation.”

        BEN:”Gustav, with your Chinese menu of Judaism you’ve tossed out the most basic and simplest definition of who is a Jew–a person is a Jew by birth or becomes one through religious conversion–in the service of a political trick. Again, (1) you’re presenting something very complex and complicated as if it were simple and black and white, and you’re doing it with a bunch of slippery right wing nationalist code words. Weiss disagrees with you regarding these code words as I noted above. (2) you’re telling us that being a Jew is defined by a right wing political litmus test! You’ve taken the mix of vapors that the mix of secular nationalists and national religious traipsing around the West Bank with guns slung on their shoulders and knitted caps on their head inchoately and arrogantly tell themselves is Judaism and presented it as a universal definition! That’s no gibberish. If you think this is gibberish then you don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. Gee you seem awfully reluctant to answer me Gustav. I wonder why that is? Nu? You are presenting your bogus definition of a Jew as if these slippery code words were self evident anodyne descriptors just everyone should agree to. They aren’t and they don’t. And you’re presenting a litmus test of Judaism that ignores millions of Jews and given the real meanings you extreme rightists have shown you really attach to your slippery code words, probably rules out even Herzl and Jabotinsky as Jews! And in order to present that political litmus test you’ve blithely tossed out THE most basic and simple definition of who is a Jew: a person is a Jew by birth or becomes one through religious conversion. You had to do that to present your fake question.”

        As usual, you misrepresent everything that I told you, Benny. You are a true troll.

        Yes, if one has Jewish parents, then one in cold legal terms is a Jew.

        But how is a person a Jew if he/she throws in their lot with those who hate us, who want to murder us, who want to expell us from our state, eliminate the only Jewish state in the world and replace it with the 23rd Arab state?

        (Yes they do, Benny, despite your denials. I proved it to you dozens of times. And Hamas openly boast that they still want to do it. The PLO also want to do it by forcing us to accept up to 4 million descendants of refugees. And yes I proved that too to you in our last public verbal brawl).

        How is one really a Jew if they neither practice the Jewish religion nor care about the nation of the Jewish people, Israel?

        How is such a person, rather than French or Italian or Greek if they live in those countries and hate the Jewish state? Note, I said HATE. I did not say CRITICAL. Nothing wrong with critical. We all do that from time to time and during elections we practice the ultimate criticism when we get rid of governments which we don’t like.

        No, Benny, I am talking about HATE! People who hate Israel, who only criticize Israel and without looking at context. People who want to see the end of the only Jewish state, cannot be thought of as Jews, even if they have Jewish parents.

        Hey, let me whisper an open secret in your ear, my trollish friend. They themselves don’t think of themselves as Jews. They will gladly tell you so if you ask them at times when they are not standing on their soap box and pound their chests for dramatic effect and pretend to be Jews.

        Reply to Comment
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