QALANDIA CROSSING, West Bank (AP) — Israel’s military has invested tens of millions of dollars to upgrade West Bank crossings and ease entry for Palestinian workers.
But while the high-tech upgrades may have eased crossing for Palestinians who enter Israel every day, critics say they’re a sign of the ossification of Israel’s 52-year occupation of the West Bank.
Before, Palestinian laborers with work permits would wake up in the middle of the night to arrive at the crossings before daybreak. Metal fenced entryways were often packed with people before dawn, waiting for the gates to open.
Now, after the $85 million upgrades, crossing can take around 10 minutes, even during the morning rush hour. While much of the rest of Jerusalem is still asleep, hundreds of Palestinians stream through for work, medical appointments or family visits.