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Israel to close major Nablus checkpoint 5 hours daily

March 11, 2016 12:40 P.M. (Updated: March 11, 2016 4:48 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military is expected to begin daily closures of Zaatara military checkpoint in southern Nablus for maintenance, the Palestinian military liaison said Thursday.

The liason said they were officially informed by their Israeli counterpart that the checkpoint would be closed for five hours daily for those entering Nablus due to maintenance on Huwwara Street, adding that the closure may last for more than two months.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were aware of the planned maintenance, but could not give further information regarding what the maintenance would entail, or the exact start and end date of the closures.

The expected times of closure fall primarily during rush hour periods, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The closures are likely to affect the movement of the over 200,000 Palestinians living in the Nablus governorate, which includes the city of Nablus, three refugee camps and fifteen villages.

The movement of Palestinians in the area is heavily controlled as entrance and exit into the area is only possible through four permanent Israeli military checkpoints.

Areas of the district have been closed on several occasions during unrest that spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October, often following attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals on Israeli military forces stationed in the area, and particularly at checkpoints. 
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