Intro TAXIS TRADERS WAITING AREA ID CHECKS ISRAELI SECURITY MEDICAL CASES ISRAELI SETTLEMENT Full Coverage

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Israeli settlement

About 200,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, not counting those who live in East Jerusalem.

The checkpoints and roadblocks are designed to protect the settlers as well as to prevent suicide attacks inside Israel. But settlers have nevertheless faced numerous violent attacks claiming scores of lives.

Settlers do not have to pass through permanent checkpoints of the kind illustrated above. They use a network of bypass roads designed specifically for their use. These skirt around Palestinian towns and are subject to much less stringent security checks.

Israeli civilians face a blanket ban against entering areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

Bypass roads are sometimes used by Palestinian traffic - mainly taxis but only selectively. Depending on the security situation, Israeli soldiers either tolerate this or clamp down on it.

Palestinian vehicles usually leave the bypass road before they reach an army checkpoint, using unpaved agricultural roads to avoid detection.


Azriel Pinsky lives with his wife and three children in the Israeli settlement of Psagot.

It borders onto the Palestinian city of Ramallah. He says it was fired on most nights during the first year of the intifada.

Mr Pinsky commutes to Jerusalem on the bypass roads. Security checks for him can take a few minutes, or occasionally up to two or three hours if there is a security alert.

He carries a gun when he drives. "The checkpoints don't make me feel safe. We know they don't work," he told BBC News Online, pointing out that although checkpoints reduce the number of militants who get through, suicide attacks still happen.

"The situation is definitely creating resentment, on both sides," he said.

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