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

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Waiting area

Checkpoints are controlled by Israeli soldiers, who determine how many Palestinians can pass and how long they must wait before they can get through.

As a humanitarian measure, the army erects corrugated metal shelters at some permanent checkpoints to protect waiting Palestinians from the summer sun and rain in winter.

Waiting times vary greatly, depending on the security situation. Sometimes people pass with hardly any delay; at other times they may have to wait an hour or more before being called through.

Sometimes checkpoints are closed altogether.

"Everything is done to allow for quick flow of people through the checkpoints," an Israeli Defense Force spokesman told BBC News Online.


Mahmoud Arari works in the Palestinian Authority's petroleum office in Ramallah.

He rents a flat in Beitunia, about half an hour's drive away, but the journey is so difficult that he usually stays in Ramallah during the week.

Arriving at 1300 at the Surda checkpoint - which is on the north side of Ramallah - after leaving home at 0900, he explained that he had already been held up for half an hour at one checkpoint and more than an hour at another.

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