Canadian delegation visits Kalandia crossing

The delegation of the Weisenthal Center recently observed the steps the IDF (Zahal) takes to maintain security and quality of life at the crossing

Date: 05/11/2012, 8:50 PM     Author: Rotem Pesso

Last week, the Erez Battalion of the Military Police hosted a delegation organized by the Simon Weisenthal Center, an international organization devoted to fighting anti-Semitism and passing on the lessons of the Holocaust. The delegation included 30 senior police officers, in addition to Members of Parliament representing various regions of Canada. The delegation visited the Kalandia crossing, guided by Maj. Haggai Sin-Itzik, commander of one of the Battalion’s companies. During the visit, members of the delegation were briefed on operational matters in the Kalandia area and on the challenges facing the Erez Battalion in maintaining the quality of life of the area’s residents.

Erez Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Yuval Shenkin noted that the Kalandia crossing is the focal point of mosts visits to the area. “The crossing is an object that has come to symbolize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Lt. Col. Shenkin. “Most of the disturbances and events occur here, attracting delegations from all over the world. This area is quite volatile.” Kalandia is the largest land crossing in Israel, with roughly 15,000 people crossing every day through three types of crossings: foot traffic, vehicles, and public transportation.

The Weisenthal Center’s CEO and president, Avi Ben Lulu, emphasized the importance of the visit. “Every year we organize a delegation made up of mostly non-Jews from various backgrounds, who hear about the reality in Israel exclusively from lectures and news media,” said Mr. Ben Lulu. “The current delegation also visited Poland, where we passed on information about the holocaust. We came to Kalandia to acquaint them with the complexities of the situation”