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Friday, April 21, 2006

Border Police Allowing 'Palestinians' to Enter Jerusalem

I've said many times that I don't believe that the 'security fence' is a panacea for our problems keeping Palestinian terrorists out of Israel's major cities, if the attitude reflected in this article is typical, it's not likely to help at all. This is simply beyond belief.

Four days after a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that Border Police officers in charge of guarding gaps in the security fence around Jerusalem are allowing unfettered access to Palestinians coming into the capital.

At temporary checkpoints along the route of the incomplete fence sections viewed by The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, the atmosphere was relaxed, with the vast majority of Palestinians crossing without having their IDs checked or being searched by border guards.

At the checkpoint separating Jebl Mukaber, part of east Jerusalem and inside the security fence, and East Sawahre, an Area A Palestinian town, for instance, Palestinians young and old, male and female, crossed into Jerusalem undisturbed as border police ate lunch in the shade of their concrete post.

"We don't check them here, they can go freely," said one officer, who would not identify himself, as he chatted with private contractors who were fortifying the position. "We only check them once there is a problem, and that is only sometimes."

A few kilometers down the road and across the wadi at a checkpoint separating Jebl Mukaber and Sheik Said, a town whose position in relation to the fence lies in the hands of the High Court, the situation was similar.

Since 2000, the army has blocked off roads connecting Sheikh Said and Jebl Mukaber, forcing Palestinians to drive to one side of the checkpoint, walk a half-kilometer on foot to the adjacent road inside the route of the security fence, and board taxis to their final destinations within Jerusalem. Throughout the day, Palestinian taxi drivers with Jerusalem IDs wait on both sides of the checkpoint to ferry workers to and from their jobs.

Border police at that checkpoint said they were under orders to check the IDs of Palestinians coming into and leaving Jerusalem. However in the half-hour this reporter spent at the checkpoint, they only checked the IDs of a handful of the few dozen people who crossed into Jerusalem and searched none. All the while, others walked on paths that led around the checkpoint, mostly out of view of the officers.

Even as they allowed the near free-flow of people, the border police said checkpoints around Jerusalem like this one were Israel's weak point in preventing suicide bombings.


"I feel furious at these things," said Uzi Dayan, the former national security adviser who first presented the plan for the security fence to the Sharon government in 2001. As the chairman of the Tafnit party, Dayan remains a vocal advocate for the fence's expedited completion.

"The last terror attack just passed and no one feels a sense of responsibility," he said. "This is a terror event with nine funerals that certainly could have been prevented with a completed fence and secure checkpoints."

Read it all.


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