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Israeli forces lift closure on two roads in Ramallah

Jan. 6, 2017 5:30 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 9, 2017 8:05 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces Friday reopened a road between Nablus and Ramallah near the al-Jalazun refugee camp and the entrance to the village of Abud in the western part of the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

The Palestinian liaison department said in a statement that following efforts conducted by Palestinian officials, Israeli forces opened the road and the entrance to Abud after imposing a closure by placing large cement blocks in the area for purported security reasons.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the closures. It was unknown as of Friday what reasons the Israeli army had to conduct the closures.

Israeli forces routinely close roads and entire villages in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, for alleged security purposes. These actions have been widely condemned by rights groups, who have said such measures amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.

Last week, Israeli forces also set up several military checkpoints at several main roads leading to Palestinian villages in Ramallah, including Abud, and proceeded to stop Palestinian vehicles and check identity cards of both passengers and pedestrians who attempted to cross.

Earlier in December, Israeli forces closed all entrances to the Abud village, installing checkpoints to prevent cars from entering or leaving the area in the wake of a reported attack near Abud when an Israeli settler was lightly wounded after a gunman opened live fire on his vehicle.

The following day, Israeli forces raided four Palestinian villages in the Ramallah and Salfit districts, sealing all entrances and preventing residents from leaving their homes

Israeli forces also maintained a military closure last month on two main roads connecting the Ramallah district to Nablus in the north, as well as the entrance to the al-Jalazun refugee camp for at least two consecutive days, affecting at least nine Palestinian villages in the area. 

Palestinians residing in towns in northern and eastern Ramallah were forced to take a longer, alternative route to reach their homes.

Locals told Ma’an at the time that Israeli forces conducted searches and interrogations of people passing through the checkpoints.
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