- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The article “Israel loosens its grip in West Bank” (Page 1, Wednesday) paints a picture of more freedom of movement for Palestinians (“Palestinians travel easily”), even though Israel’s nearly 700 road blocks and checkpoints are designed to make life miserable for Palestinians in order to get them to leave. The sentence “Mr. Netanyahu was able to cut back on checkpoints because there was little security risk” goes to show that these checkpoints are not intended to enhance security but rather to humiliate the Palestinians.

Last week the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a privately run checkpoint in the West Bank “is not allowing Palestinians to pass through with large water bottles and some food items.” This is pure harassment.

Benjamin Netanyahu is removing a few checkpoints in order to deflect U.S. pressure on Israel to halt its settlements in the occupied territories. Hopefully, President Obama will cut off all financial, military and political aid to Israel until its occupation and oppression of the Palestinians is ended.

RAY GORDON

Bel Air, Md.

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