Fewer, better, checkpoints in Israel

Too much misrepresentation in the Dec. 25 letter, "Israel needs to live up to obligations," about the West Bank. Twenty years ago there were over 500 checkpoints, today less than 100, 57 in all the West Bank. As peace flourished, the need for them diminished. The fact is 90 percent are gone. Why do any remain? Same reason we do security checks in airports, though 99.9 percent of flyers wouldn't hurt anyone. Israel knows the same is true for Palestinians. But just as hundreds of handguns are found in every airport, hundreds of guns are found smuggled into the West Bank.

Israel invests millions so checkpoints are fast, efficient and respectful of the peaceful intentions of most Palestinians. I know this, as I am a humanitarian officer for the IDF in a program for retired officers age 45 to 65. Volunteers staff these sites with young troops to ensure respect and dignity of the working public. Female soldiers respect the religious beliefs of women checked. We look forward to none being needed.

Since 2000 travel permits within the Palestinian Aurthority are administered by the PA. I'm surprised the writer does not know that. As recent as summer the Supreme Court made land decisions, both ways, based on deeds not emotion - as should be.

Ron Sheps

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