The maze of Israeli military checkpoints inside the West Bank ensure that not only vegetables must be carried to market, but also students must walk to school, workers to their jobs, and officials must walk to meetings, to work, to try to run the Palestinian government.

Palestinian Legislative Council members bounce in the back of vegetable trucks or shared taxis through mountains and side roads along with all others trying to avoid Israeli blockades. And some even travel by ambulance.

The Minister of Detainees and Ex Detainees Affairs, Wasfi Kabha, told PNN Tuesday morning, “Almost daily I am forced to walk a long distance in order to avoid the intensive military barriers which prevent the continuation of our travel. Sometimes I go in a small vegetable truck from one city to the next.”

The government official explained further, “During my return home, I am prevented from crossing the Zatara Checkpoint in southern Nablus City. If an ambulance is waiting to cross, sometimes if I am severely exhausted from walking, I hop in the back alongside the patients awaiting hospitalization.”

Kabha added, “We are among the Palestinian people, treated the same, suffering under the same occupation. It makes no difference if we are government officials or citizens.”

Continuing to speak with PNN, the Minister said, “We do not have VIP cards, nor do we receive permission to travel between the West Bank and Gaza Strip for meetings. There are some government cars, but most remain with ministers from the previous government and have not been passed on to us.”

As for the head of the Legislative Council, Dr. Azziz Dweik, he suffered a physical breakdown when he was invited to a meeting in the town of Qablan. He was forced to walk through the mountains and avoid seven military barriers in order to attend.

Several weeks before that, Dr. Dweik was not allowed to travel between Ramallah and Nablus via the Huwara Checkpoint in southern Nablus. He was turned back along with hundreds of Palestinians trying to move within the West Bank.

The Israelis began to further restrict Palestinian movement just after the Hamas party won the PLC elections held on 25 January. They cut off all communications with the government, including closing the District Coordination Offices (DCO) where special travel permits were once granted. The Israelis left behind their security and intelligence only, as reported by Israeli sources.