Dozens of residents of Kiryat Arba and environs demonstrated Friday morning at the large Tarkumiye checkpoint, against the army’s intention to demand that Jews show identification when passing through.
The Tarkumiyeh checkpoint – as large as a small border crossing station – is located on the east-west highway leading from Hevron and southern Judea to Kiryat Gat and Ashkelon.
The new checkpoint policy was decided on long ago, but is apparently only now beginning to be implemented in selected areas. The idea is that instead of soldiers waving on Jewish drivers while checking Arab cars more carefully, Jews will either have to have identifying stickers on their windshields – or wait in line to be checked together with suspected Arab terrorists.
The demonstrators object to the new plan for ideological, security and practical reasons. It will cause heavy traffic delays, for one thing. In addition, guests of Jewish residents and those who do not have stickers will be forced to wait together with those who are being checked for weapons and bombs designed for use against Jews.
The overriding concern is ideological, however. “Why are we different than the residents of Tel Aviv?” they ask. “Why are we forced to show our ID cards to soldiers whenever we come or leave home? Why must are cars be identified? Can such a situation be imagined in Tel Aviv?”
Yisrael Bramson, a member of the Kiryat Arba Municipal Council, took part in the protest. “We came to the checkpoint this morning in a convoy of cars,” he told Arutz-7’s Oranit Netzer, “and we told the soldiers that we refuse to show our ID cards unless a policeman demands it [citizens are required by law to produce an ID card for a policeman – ed.]. The soldiers then called policemen over, but the whole thing took a very long time and resulted in a 45-minute traffic jam.”
“This new procedure reminds me of dark period from 65 years ago,” Bramson said. “How can it be that in the Jewish State, Jews must produce ID cards to soldiers? This is pure discrimination. It is a problem for everyone in Judea and Samaria, and we plan to continue the fight.”
Rewarding Arabs for not Rioting
At the same time, life is being made easier for Arabs in the region – despite the several murders that have been perpetrated by Arabs who, without checkpoints, are able to escape easily and undetected back into their villages. Two checkpoints, one near Dolev in Binyamin and another one in the Hevron area, are set to be removed in the near future. The IDF explained that the decision was made to “reward” the Arabs for not rioting or attacking during the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza.
In addition, the army has announced that it plans to open the main street near the Hevron Jewish Community to Arab traffic for nearly the first time in 15 years.
Murderous Terrorists Abound
At least 36 Jews, one Bedouin and two international observers have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists over the past ten years in and around Hevron, and many others by terrorists from the Hevron region.