checkpoints prevent disaster:
The tragic story of Ori Binamo
Published: 4 January 2006
Briefing Number 164
Summary: An Israeli army
officer was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber at
an Israeli checkpoint when he intercepted the bomber as
he was trying to enter Israel, reportedly to attack Chanukah
festivities. The incident illustrates the rationale for
Israel’s checkpoints, and the human cost which Israel
is paying for being forced by Palestinian terror groups
to maintain them.
Israel’s checkpoints – for and against
Israel has established many checkpoints across the West Bank,
manned by soldiers and by border police.
From time to time, they are relocated, or dismantled. But as
warnings of attacks increase, the number of checkpoints increases
Israel justifies the checkpoints as a way of intercepting armed
attacks on Israel, especially suicide bombings.
The Palestinians, and Israel’s critics, focus solely
on the Palestinian perspective. They criticise the checkpoints
for harming the human rights of Palestinians, for inconveniencing
and frustrating them, and for reducing freedom of movement.
Israel’s critics often ignore evidence that the checkpoints
save innocent Israeli lives. And they suggest that it is only
the Palestinians that suffer because of the checkpoints.
This Briefing (based on news reports in Haaretz and in the
Jerusalem Post, 30 December 2005) challenges those perceptions.
Suicide bombing attack at Israeli checkpoint
On 29 December 2005, Israel received intelligence that a Palestinian
suicide bomber was attempting to enter Israel.
According to some news reports, the intelligence showed that
the bomber’s intended target was festivities taking place
in Israel to mark Chanukah.
The Israel army quickly established a temporary checkpoint
near the West Bank town of Tulkarm, and the Israeli settlement
of Avnei Hefetz.
Shortly afterwards, troops stopped a Palestinian taxi at the
checkpoint. The vehicle was approached by 21-year old Israeli
army officer Ori Binamo.
The three Palestinian occupants of the taxi got out. One of
them raised his shirt to reveal a 10-kilogram bomb belt.
He blew himself up, killing Binamo.
Several Israeli soldiers were wounded. The Palestinian taxi
driver was killed together with a Palestinian accomplice of
the bomber, who was in the taxi.
According to a Palestinian doctor who treated the injured,
a four-year old Palestinian boy was wounded, together with seven
The death of Lieutenant Binamo, saving the lives of
Ori Binamo was, according to reports, a much-loved soldier
who devoted himself to the welfare of his comrades and was due
for promotion in two months. The commanding officer of his Brigade
stated as follows:-
“Ori Binamo was an officer who was loved and very professional.
He carried out his role, and saved – with his body –
the lives of dozens of innocent Israeli civilians….”
Reports indicated that the bomb belt was large, and would have
caused great carnage if it would have been detonated in a crowd
At Binamo’s funeral, his father read out a letter which
his son had written at the age of 14, expressing the hope that
all of the people of the world could become friends and live
Israel’s checkpoints save innocent lives. In this case
the checkpoint saved many lives.
Attention focuses on how Israel’s checkpoints inconvenience
Palestinians (which no-one can deny).
But few pay attention to the cost to Israeli society of the
In this episode, the death of Ori Binamo brought tragedy and
devastation to his family, friends and community.
Israel does not choose to maintain its West Bank checkpoints.
It is forced to.
The root cause of the checkpoints is Palestinian terror. If
that terror stops, and the Palestinians are no longer poised
to resume terrorist activities, then Israel would have no justification
for the checkpoints.
Related Beyond Images Briefings
Roadblocks, checkpoints and the security
fence – barriers to peace, or barriers to terror ?
The section in All Briefings on Israel’s