Yesterday Assaf Oron expressed skepticism about reports that Israel has eased movement in the West Bank by lifting checkpoints. Today Oron offers "some additional information confirming my suspicions, from Micheala, a Machsom-Watch activist (translated from Hebrew)":
In general the situation is still quite fluid and it is hard to see an overall picture. What we can say so far: in Southern West Bank, no improvement. No
checkpoint or roadblock removal, and no change in inspection
Same for Greater Jerusalem [this was hinted in the Haaretz article too - Assaf].
So most of the alleviation is in the Northern West Bank. Usually, the
physical checkpoint is still there, the soldiers are around but hidden
from sight and do not actively stand at the checkpoint (CP).
presence of soldiers continues to convey who is the boss on the ground.
Occasionallly they resume inspections. This is what we've heard from
Atatra/Bei-Zeit CP north of Ramallah, where since its "removal" it has
been re-instated at least 3 times.
The Beit Furik CP, "dismantled" according to the article: all
vehicles are actually inspected. The change is that now people can use
their vehicles to go through into Nablus; before they could not. This
CP is completely blocked at night.
We get the same reports of occasional inspections from other CP's as well. And
sometimes (e.g., around Beit Iba) a *new* CP appears, without being
reported in the media of course, instead of the one whose removal was
Bottom line: Palestinians report there is some relaxation [in terms
of CP suffocation - Assaf], but only time will tell how stable and
meaningful it is.
Oron adds: we've seen this
ebb and flow of "CP removal" before a few times. And always the removal
is far more reported than the re-instatement.