Israel to Remove Checkpoints for Muslim Holiday
Israel has approved several relief measures for the Palestinian Authority Arab population of Judea and Samaria, in honor of the upcoming Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea and Samaria said on Thursday that as part of these relief measures, some roadblocks in the area will be removed, in accordance with to a decision by Central Command.
A military source told Arutz Sheva the roadblocks to be removed are not the larger checkpoints but rather small barriers at the entrances to Arab villages, a move that would facilitate Arab movement within the villages during the holiday.
Additional relief measures to the Arabs include providing permits to enter Israel for family visits and extending the hours of operation at the border crossings.
It was also reported that following a request by the Palestinian Authority, the Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of next week.
The PA and the United States used the drop in terrorist attacks against Israel in recent years as a tool to force the Defense Ministry to remove blockades and eliminate most checkpoints. However, in the past few weeks there has been an escalation in terror attacks in Judea and Samaria. These have included placing a roadside bomb in the path of a military vehicle.
Last week, Itzik Shadmi, head of the Binyamin Residents’ Council, called the Israeli government to immediately bring back the blockades and checkpoints to Judea and Samaria.
“Unfortunately, today the Israeli government and the IDF support a policy of relying on the PA to stop terrorism,” Shadmi told Arutz Sheva. “The IDF is working closely with the PA and gives it responsibilities. This is a new policy which is dangerous and stupid and needs to change.”