|A UN staff member being checked by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint. (UNRWA)|
JERUSALEM, 30 April (IRIN) - Increased Israeli restrictions on the checkpoints around East Jerusalem have caused more delays and more lost man hours for UN staff in March 2008 than in all of 2007, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported.
In the Humanitarian Monitor for March, released on 24 April, OCHA said "operations were significantly affected" and almost daily UN vehicles were delayed and even turned back by Israeli soldiers at checkpoints south of Jerusalem.
Israeli soldiers have increasingly insisted on searching UN vehicles at the checkpoints as a condition for being allowed through, despite the fact that Israel signed the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN which normally prohibits such searches.