A CAMERA letter today in the Jerusalem Post debunks an argument made by Machsom Watch's Nomi Lalo that checkpoints and crossings serve no security purpose because "terrorists do not pass through roadblocks."
Facts don't lie
Sir, - As a volunteer for Machsom Watch, an organization which monitors checkpoints and roadblocks, Nomi Lalo is apparently doing a very poor job. "Terrorists do not pass through the roadblocks," Lalo reportedly stated while arguing that these obstacles serve no security purpose ("Diskin: Removing roadblocks harms us," April 6).
Clearly Lalo missed the countless cases in which terrorists were stopped by roadblocks and checkpoints. A sampling of such incidents, culled from The Jerusalem Postarchives:
On March 9, 2008, the Post reported that on March 6, "A third member (of a terror group planning an attack on Midgal Oz) was arrested in a checkpoint set up by the IDF in nearby El-Aroub."
On April 20, 2006, the Post reported: "A 19-year-old Palestinian was caught with five pipe-bombs at a checkpoint west of Nablus."
"In the afternoon (of April 2, 2006), a 17-year-old was caught at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus in possession of a two-kilogram pipe-bomb" (reported April 3, 2006).
On March 13, 2006, "At the Kalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem, security forces arrested two Palestinians after they were caught carrying a 50-centimeter sword and a number of bullets" (reported March 14, 2006).
On Feb. 3, 2006, two teens were caught at Beit Iba (checkpoint) attempting to smuggle explosive belts, each containing seven kilograms of explosives, intended for populated areas in the center of Israel. The Post reported: "Their arrest prevented a double suicide bombing."
On Feb. 2, 2006, "a military policewoman manning the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus caught two Palestinian teenagers attempting to smuggle 12 pipe-bombs through the checkpoints" (reported Feb. 5, 2006).
On Dec. 29, 2005, a Palestinian suicide bomber en route to carry out an attack in Israel was stopped at a roadblock near Tulkarm and detonated himself, killing an Israeli soldier, his accomplice and Palestinian bystanders (reported Dec. 30, 2005).
Naim Hable of Kalkilya "was caught along with two others with 102 M-16 assault rifle bullets, a knife and stolen property at a checkpoint outside Kalkilya," the Post reported March 15, 2005.
Ms. Lalo would like us to believe that terrorists "skirt around" checkpoints - but it is she who is skirting around the facts.
TAMAR STERNTHAL, Director
Israel Office CAMERA