Are checkpoints in Israel necessary? In this news clip from i24, the challenges that soldiers who man a checkpoint have to deal with is clearly displayed.

Checkpoints are basically Army barriers that are located in the heart of the Land of Israel in order to protect citizens from terrorists. The Army strategically placed them at crossing locations that connect Judea & Samaria (AKA the West Bank) and mainland Israel. Arabs use these roads to smuggle weapons, bombs and terrorists into major population centers. They obviously slow down traffic and force people – both Jews and Arabs – who go through them, to allot more time for travel.

Are they necessary?

First of all, the Arabs complain about them all of the time.  That means that they are doing something essential.  But, there are clear facts that bear out what should be obvious by now.  Checkpoints save lives – many lives.  Literally, hundreds of terrorists have been caught at these junctures.  Almost every day, weapons are caught at checkpoints.  It’s a dangerous world.  Precautions need to be taken.

It is a true statement that 99% of the people who pass through any given checkpoint are not armed or dangerous.  However, the 1% that is indeed armed or dangerous is very dangerous.  There are no checkpoints today in the entire State of Israel where terrorists have not been caught.  This is one of the reasons that terrorists actually often attack these Army barriers.

Delicate Balance

However, the everyday lives of the 99% matter too.  It is not a minor inconvenience to have to wait for 30 or 60 minutes at checkpoints.  The truth is that in most instances, checkpoints do not cause more than around a 10-15 minute delay.  But there are hot spots where the Army needs to be more careful.

Israel has invested millions of dollars to build multiple lanes in order to ensure reasonable traffic flow.  This is good for the well-being of the Arabs and Jews who travel in and out of them every day.  Any sane country that needs to deal with a violent fifth column in it’s midst understands the critical need for checkpoints.