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Checkpoints deny freedom

by Ekaterina & Kuleshina

One prominent aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the system of checkpoints established by the Israeli government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The primary reason behind the establishment of checkpoints in Israel and Palestine is to safeguard the security of Israeli citizens as the Israeli government claims. However, they have become a significant source of frustration and hardship for Palestinians since the checkpoints serve as a way to control Palestinians. 

Humanitarian Challenges

The checkpoint system has given rise to various humanitarian challenges for Palestinians. The proliferation of checkpoints has significantly impacted freedom of movement, impeding the daily lives of ordinary Palestinians who must navigate these barriers to access essential services, including education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Long waiting times, unpredictable closures, and arbitrary restrictions imposed at checkpoints have resulted in immense frustration and economic hardship for Palestinians, who often have to endure long hours of travel just to reach their destinations. 

Economic Consequences

The checkpoints have had a negative impact on the Palestinian economy. The prolonged waiting times and the unpredictability of crossing processes have hindered the movement of goods, causing delays and additional expenses for businesses. Palestinian farmers, in particular, face challenges in accessing their agricultural lands, affecting their livelihoods and exacerbating the already difficult economic situation in the region.

Psychological Effects

The constant exposure to checkpoints has also taken a toll on the psychological well-being of Palestinians. The daily encounters with Israeli soldiers, the invasive searches, and the overall sense of powerlessness have generated frustration, humiliation, and a deep-seated resentment among Palestinians. Such experiences contribute to a sense of collective trauma, perpetuating an atmosphere of distrust and animosity between the two communities.

Calls for Change

The impact of checkpoints on the lives of Palestinians has prompted local and international human rights organizations, as well as various governments, to call for their reduction and improved management. There have been efforts to streamline and expedite the crossing process, implement advanced technology for security checks, and establish alternative routes to minimize the disruption caused by checkpoints. Furthermore, dialogue and negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian authorities are essential to address the core issues underlying the conflict and find long-term solutions that ensure both security and the rights of Palestinians. However, these are the first steps and it is still a long way to fight for justice in Palestine.