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ARIJ: Palestinians lose $270m per year due to military checkpoints

Palestinians wait to cross the Israeli checkpoint in West Bank [APA Images]
Palestinians wait to cross an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank [apaimages]

Palestinians lose about 60 million work hours per year due to restrictions on movement in the occupied West Bank imposed by Israeli occupation forces, according to a study by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ).

This loss is estimated at $270 million per year, as well as added fuel consumption of 80 million litres, costing up to an additional $135 million and leading to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 196,000 tonnes per year.

The study tracked the movement of citizens through 15 major Israeli military checkpoints between cities in the occupied West Bank as well as 11 crossing points into Jerusalem and Israeli territories. The data was collected from the beginning of January to the end of July 2018, using GPS tracking devices installed on Palestinian vehicles, including public transport and private vehicles. Each device monitored the location, time and speed of the vehicle every ten seconds, giving an accurate idea of the time spent at military checkpoints.

READ: Palestinian dies at Israel checkpoint on route to Al-Aqsa

Israel maintains a system of checkpoints that can be closed at any time, preventing Palestinians from travelling to school, hospital or work, or to access their land.

In a July 2018 survey, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHAoPt) recorded that there are “705 permanent obstacles across the West Bank restricting or controlling Palestinian vehicular, and in some cases pedestrian, movement.”

Israel also runs a system of “flying checkpoints” which can disrupt travel at a moment’s notice. OCHAoPt notes that, “between January 2017 and the end of July 2018, Israeli forces employed an additional 4,924 ad-hoc ‘flying’ checkpoints, or nearly 60 a week. These involve the deployment of Israeli forces for several hours on a given road for the purpose of stopping and checking Palestinian drivers and vehicles, but without any permanent physical infrastructure on the ground.”

READ: Over 100 bullet fragments in brain of Palestinian child shot by Israel soldier

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