The pedestrians-only Tufah (apple) checkpoint linking al-Mawasi to the rest of the city of Khan Yunis has become one of the most notorious Israeli army inspection points in the occupied territories. For more than a year, after the closure of another checkpoint accessing Rafah to the south, Tufah has served as al-Mawasi's only lifeline to the outside world. Residents say it sometimes shuts down without advance notice, stranding people on the other side. 'When you leave al-Mawasi, it could take you a week or a month to get back, it all depends on the checkpoint,' says Hatem El-Laham, a university student. The latest ban on travel to Khan Yunis came when Tufah was closed down on Saturday. The army said the closure was because explosive devices were found on a nearby beach used by settlers. An army spokesman added that during the sensitive period of the withdrawal, 'extra caution' is needed. Al-Mawasi's mayor, Mohammed al-Najar, had this to say about the impending dismantling of Tufah checkpoint as part of the Israeli withdrawal: 'If you cage a bird and then open the cage, you will see how satisfied the bird is. How much more so the human, who has feelings, when the checkpoint is removed.'