On July 20, the IDF was putting together a proposal to remove over 100 dirt roadblocks in time for Ramadan this year.
Last month, for the first time in years, a Palestinian could drive from Nablus to Hebron without encountering a roadblock. The roadblocks near Jericho are down so Israelis can now travel through the West Bank to lose their money in Jericho's casino, and Jericho residents can now reach any major town on the West Bank without going through roadblocks.
In May, the IDF began dismantling roadblocks in the West Bank at an accelerated rate. Haaretz reported in June of this year that only 10 manned roadblocks are still extant in the West Bank, and searches are not carried out at every one of them. This is in stark contrast to the last year and a half, when more than 35 manned roadblocks were in operation. More and more, IDF soldiers are posted outside of major city centers to keep Israelis out rather than to check on Palestinians.
Apparently this is part of Netanyahu's policy to take action to improve the day-to-day life of Palestinians in the West Bank in a way that would significantly better the economic conditions in the area. He and Barak apparently believed that lifting roadblocks does not bear a significant domestic political price if there are no terrorist attacks as a result of the easing of restrictions.
That "IF" suddenly changed everything.
If tonight's news announcement is not a false alarm (and since a terror group is claiming responsibility, I believe it's probably true), then all these moves towards slowly draining off the occupation have been for nothing.
Today, a kid in the Air Force was forcibly kidnapped near his base in central Israel.
How would Palestinian terrorists get to central Israel? Hey, look, NO effective roadblocks!!
This terror act, this kidnapping of one of our sons on our own land, is brought to you courtesy of the Palestinian people, whose leadership last week in Bethlehem demanded ALL of Jerusalem, our capital, for their capital; the release of thousands of captured terrorists serving sentences in our jails; the opening of the border crossings of Gaza so as to ease the export of more terrorists to central Israel; and reaffirmed those clauses of the Fatah Internal Order document, which calls for the eradication of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Arab Moslem state, and the rejection of all peace initiatives.
So much for giving peace a chance.
Bring back the roadblocks. No one else's child should become Gilad Shalit.