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Israeli forces reopen main road west of Bethlehem after 1 week closure

Feb. 20, 2017 10:23 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 21, 2017 10:29 A.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reopened on Monday a main road west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank that serves as a route used every day by thousands of commuters from four Palestinian villages, one week after closing it. 

Last Monday, Israeli forces placed rocks and earth mounds in the middle of a road near the village of al-Khader. The road serves as a main route between Bethlehem city and the villages of Husan, Battir, Nahhalin, and Wadi Fukin.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that Israeli forces closed the southern entrance to Husan due to "repeated stone-throwing incidents" over the past few months that targeted Israeli vehicles traveling along the adjacent bypass road.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an at the time that "traffic was rerouted" and an entrance to the village of Husan was closed after a recent "significant increase in terror activities against civilians in the Husan area," without specifying which kind of "terror activities" it was alleging were being committed by Palestinian residents.

Israel has come under harsh international condemnation for its response to alleged stone throwing by Palestinian youth through erecting checkpoints and road blocks, which rights groups have said amounted to “collective punishment” and represents a clear violation of international law.

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