Al Jazeera World - Hard Crossings

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Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank have become part of everyday life for the thousands of Palestinians who must pass through them daily.

Israel claims that the checkpoints are vital to stop suicide bombers entering its cities.

But critics say they are a form of collective punishment - effectively sealing off Palestinian cities, hindering travel and access to schools and medical care and jeopardising any hopes for peace.

Hazem al-Qawasmeh, the founder of Karama, or the International Campaign for Freedom of Movement for Palestinians, says: "These military checkpoints restrict Palestinians' movement and turn their cities into prisons. The West Bank has now become a big prison. It is separated from the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.

"Qalandiya checkpoint is one of the worst checkpoints in the West Bank. Palestinians have to wait there for hours as they try to cross from the West Bank to Jerusalem."

Hard Crossings follows the Palestinians who must navigate these checkpoints and for whom they have become a frustrating and often humiliating feature of daily life.

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