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Palestinian liaison: 'huge efforts' yield opening of several West Bank roadblocks

July 11, 2017 5:39 P.M. (Updated: July 11, 2017 6:18 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- The department of public relations at the Palestinian military liaison said Monday that after undertaking “huge efforts,” the Israeli army had agreed to remove a number of military blockades established across the occupied West Bank.

However, in response to request for comment on the matter, the Israeli army only confirmed that some of the roads had indeed been reopened.

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, while exacerbating hardships in communities by severely restricting the freedom of movement of Palestinians.

The Palestinian liaison said that a road connecting the villages of Tell, Burin, and Madama in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus was opened after two months of closure, which the Israeli army confirmed.

In the northern Tulkarem district, the liaison alleged that checkpoints at the entrances of the villages of Beit Lid and Shufa were lifted.

The Israeli army acknowledged the existence of these barriers and denied that they were removed.

The Israeli army confirmed that barriers that had been installed at the entrance to the villages of Sarra and Jit southeast of Nablus were removed.

The Israeli army denied the liaison's claim that roadblocks to the entrance of the village of Habla in the Qalqiliya district were removed.

The Palestinian liaison also claimed that a barrier to the northern entrance of Salfit city was removed, while the Israeli army said it was not.

In the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, the Palestinian liaison said checkpoints were lifted at the entrances to the villages of Abud, Nabi Saleh, Atar, Deir Abu Mashaal, and Silwad.

The Israeli army said all of these barriers had indeed removed with the exception of the barrier blocking Nabi Saleh, which remained in place.

The Palestinian liaison claimed that it had negotiated the successful removal of checkpoints at the entrance to the village of al-Auja and in Jericho city in the Jericho district.

To this, the Israeli said there had “never” been a barrier in al-Auja, and that a barrier at Jericho city was removed a year ago.

The army acknowledge that a barrier had been removed at the southern entrance to the city of Bethlehem.

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