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What Israel calls progress, Palestinians see as oppression

Israel says it will streamline checkpoint procedures to facilitate Palestinians' movements, but some see the promise as merely a public relations move and a reminder of the occupation.
Israeli soldiers stand guard as they carry out an identity check on Palestinians at an Israeli checkpoint leading to the West Bank city of Ramallah February 1, 2016. Following Sunday's shooting attack by a Palestinian, Israeli forces have taken security measures allowing only residents of Ramallah to enter the city, with a temporary closure for exit except for humanitarian cases, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman  - RTX24W9B
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Israeli army will make improvements at military checkpoints in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai announced May 26. But not everyone sees that as good news. 

On his Facebook page, titled “The Coordinator,” Mordechai posted in Arabic, “It has been decided to renew and improve checkpoints in the West Bank, [to] increase the number of Palestinian workers allowed to pass through to their workplaces in Israel, improve waiting conditions and adopt advanced technology at all checkpoints.” He said this plan — which Israel estimates will cost 300 million shekels ($78 million) to implement — will increase the amount of goods that pass through Israeli checkpoints by 30% and reduce wait times some 30% to 50%.

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