U.N.: West Bank roadblocks increase

May 30, 2008 at 3:42 PM
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JERUSALEM, May 30 (UPI) -- The number of Israeli-ordered checkpoints in the West Bank has grown in past months, restricting Palestinian travel in the area, a United Nations report says.

Forty-one checkpoints have been added in the area in past eight months, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a May Closure Update.

"The issue is not just the number of roadblocks, but also the quality and the other factors which block movement as well," OCHA deputy head Allegra Pacheco said.

Amid peace negotiations last November, Israeli officials said they would lessen travel restrictions on Palestinians, but still had several factors to consider, U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks reported Wednesday.

"Simultaneously, we have an obligation to protect our civilian population from terror attacks. Our challenge is to find the right balance," said Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Prime Minister's office.

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