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StandWithUs (SWU) is an international and non-partisan Israel education organization that inspires and educates people of all ages and backgrounds, challenges misinformation and fights antisemitism.

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Factsheets

Checkpoints

Print Version

In 2000 Palestinian leaders launched the 2nd Intifada, a murderous campaign of suicide bombings and terrorism which killed over 1,000 Israeli civilians. Israel put up checkpoints in the West Bank to stop this brutal wave of violence. While these checkpoints do make the lives of ordinary Palestinians more difficult, their sole purpose is to separate racist terrorist groups from their intended victims – Israelis of all backgrounds. Indeed, as terrorism from the West Bank subsided, Israel removed most checkpoints, allowing Palestinians to “travel relatively freely within the West Bank”.[1]

Israel put up checkpoints to stop Palestinian terrorists from killing more Israeli civilians.

  • In the 1990s and early 2000s terrorists had easy access to Israeli communities and killed massive numbers of civilians. Israel put up checkpoints to protect the lives of its people. After Israel increased security measures like checkpoints in 2002, civilian casualties dropped by over 90%

As terrorist attacks have decreased, Israel has removed most checkpoints.

  • In 2008 Israel maintained 40 checkpoints inside the West Bank to protect the Israeli civilians living there. As terrorism subsided Israel began taking them down and by 2012 only 12 remained. Today there are 13 checkpoints that operate as needed to address security threats. 3 Additionally, roads linking Palestinian
    cities are freely accessible and free of checkpoints. [4]

  • Israel does continue to maintain security crossings along the Green Line. These are similar to the security checks at major airports and foreign border crossings around the world. [5]

Checkpoints and security crossings remain vital to the safety of Israeli civilians.

  • In 2014 there were 1,793 attempted attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank. [6 ,7]

Israeli civil society organizations constantly monitor the conduct of IDF soldiers at checkpoints.

  • Organizations from both the right and left side of the Israeli political spectrum constantly monitor checkpoints to ensure that Palestinians are treated with dignity. [10]

1,719 attacks against Israels in the so called "Stabbing Intifada" in 2016. 

190K individual medical border crossings from the West Bank into Israel in 2015.

239 major terror attacks were thwarted in 2015.

The situation is clear: terrorism means checkpoints; less terrorism means fewer checkpoints; and no terrorism will mean no checkpoints.

1 B’Tselem, “Easing of restrictions on Palestinians’ movement in the West Bank, 2012,” December 24, 2012, at
http://www.btselem.org/freedom_of_movement/20121217_restrictions_lifted
2 Israel Security Agency, “2012 Annual Summary,” 2013, at
http://www.shabak.gov.il/SiteCollectionImages/english/TerrorInfo/2012AnnualSummary-en.pdf
3 IDF Blog, “Reality check: The truth behind crossings in Judea and Samaria,” May 6, 2013, at
http://www.idfblog.com/2013/05/06/reality-check-the-truth-behind-crossings-in-judea-and-samaria/
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 “Israel Security Agency.” December 31, 2014.
http://www.shabak.gov.il/English/EnTerrorData/Archive/Annual/Pages/2014AnnualSummary1.aspx
7 "2015 Annual Summary Terrorism and CT Activity Data and Trends." October 3, 2016,
http://www.shabak.gov.il/English/EnTerrorData/Archive/Annual/Pages/2015AnnualSummary.aspx
8 Jonathan Lis, “Flaws in IDF Checkpoints Still Unfixed, Six Years After State Comptroller Report - Israel News,” Haaretz (Haaretz), August
16, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.737213
5 “Israeli Aid to the Palestinians - COGAT Update February 2016.” February 29, 2016. Accessed October 20, 2016.
http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Peace/Humanitarian/Pages/Israeli-aid-to-the-Palestinians-COGAT-update-February-2016.aspx
9 Mitchell Bard, “Myths and Facts,” Jewish Virtual Library, n.d., at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths3/MFrights.html#12
10 Elhanan Miller, “At a West Bank crossing point, Israeli students put the ‘right’ into human rights,” Times of Israel, May 3, 2013, at
http://www.timesofisrael.com/at-a-west-bank-crossing-point-israeli-students-put-the-right-into-human-rights/

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