IDF removes key West Bank roadblocks (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 05/04/12)
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In an effort to improve Palestinian quality of life, the Civil
Administration of Judea and Samaria removed a number of roadblocks on
key roads throughout the West Bank in recent weeks.
One of the roadblocks – called the Shomronim Barrier – was removed
several weeks ago, enabling Palestinians to travel between the
Samaritan neighborhood located next to Nablus to the city of Nablus.
A roadblock next to the village of Zvata was also removed, connecting
it to Nablus.
In total, roadblocks were lifted from six roads near Tulkarem,
Nablus, Balata and Ariel.
Sources in the civil administration said that the decision to remove
the roadblocks was made recently in line with government policy for
alleviating restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank due to the
drop in terrorist activity.
“Lately, in light of increased stability and calm in the region, the
IDF and the civil administration are making efforts to facilitate
Palestinian movement throughout the territories,” one official said.
Since 2008, the IDF has evacuated some 30 manned checkpoints
throughout the West Bank, leaving 11, mostly located along the Green
“Nowadays, Palestinians can travel from northern Samaria to southern
Judea within record time while crossing maybe one checkpoint, when
three years ago it would have taken a few hours and they would have
had to cross several checkpoints,” another officer said.
Israel is also continuing to allow Palestinian battalions to train in
Jordan. Eight battalions have already deployed in the West Bank,
consisting of about 4,000 policemen trained by the United States.
Increased cooperation in recent years between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority has enabled the IDF to rely on PA forces to
crack down on Hamas terrorist infrastructure and, as a result, to
scale back operations inside Palestinian cities.
The training of the Palestinian battalions is overseen by Lt.-Gen.
Michael Moeller, who took up the post as the United States security
coordinator to Israel and the PA in place of Lt.- Gen. Keith Dayton
in late 2010. Moeller, a former B-52 bomber pilot in the US Air
Force, is responsible for the training of the PA forces in Jordan as
well as the ongoing reforms throughout the PA security establishment.
(© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/04/12)
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