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Israeli forces set up checkpoints around Bethlehem

March 7, 2017 9:07 P.M. (Updated: March 7, 2017 9:08 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces erected several military checkpoints at the entrances of the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Tuesday evening. 

Israeli forces closed the Container checkpoint in northeastern Bethlehem, stopping Palestinian vehicles leaving the district and searched vehicles and passengers, causing heavy traffic to develop. 

Israeli forces also set up a military checkpoint at the Hilweh tomb area in the village of Dar Salah at the eastern entrance of Beit Sahour and searched all vehicles entering the Bethlehem district. 

Meanwhile, Israeli forces set up a checkpoint near the military liaison headquarters at Beit Jala’s DCO checkpoint and searched vehicles exiting the area of Beit Jala. 

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the closures. 

Earlier on Tuesday, an Israeli driver was stabbed and lightly injured in the shoulder allegedly by a Palestinian hitchhiker on Route 60, an Israeli settler bypass road connecting Israel’s illegal settlements to Israel and Jerusalem. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an at the time that the attacker had fled the scene. 

Palestinian communities are routinely subjected to arbitrary road closures by Israeli military forces for purported "security reasons," an act which rights groups have denounced as amounting to collective punishment.

When actual or alleged attacks are carried out by Palestinians, these routine measures are dramatically heightened, with entire districts at times being put under military closures as Israeli forces attempt to detain Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks on Israelis, primarily military forces. 
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