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Israel reportedly bans Palestinians from working in certain settlements after attack

July 23, 2017 2:44 P.M. (Updated: July 23, 2017 5:59 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli army has reportedly declared that Palestinians employed inside a number of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank will now be prohibited from going to work, following a deadly stabbing attack carried out by a Palestinian inside a settlement on Friday.

Israeli media sites said Sunday that the order would include banning Palestinians from working in the illegal settlement where the attack occurred. Halamish, located north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, was built on the lands of the villages of Nabi Salih and Deir Nidham in contravention of international law.

The reports said that a number of other Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank would also restrict access to Palestinian workers, without elaborating.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports to confirm.

The reports came after settlers from Halamish set up a new outpost near the settlement overnight Saturday and started preventing Palestinians from using its eastern road with a shipping container blockade, and demanded that Israeli authorities formally and permanently block the road to Palestinian movement.

The settlers are also reportedly demanding new housing and increased security from the Israeli government.

In the wake Friday night's attack, large numbers of Israeli forces raided Kobar, the nearby hometown of the assailant who was shot and detained at the scene, and imposed a closure on the village, only allowing "humanitarian cases" to exit or enter the village.

Israeli forces also detained the attacker’s brother and took measurements to demolish his family’s home -- typical of the Israeli army's response to deadly attacks on Israelis that is routinely denounced by rights groups as collective punishment enacted on innocent Palestinians.

Last summer, after a Palestinian teenager broke into the illegal Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba and stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl to death, Israel’s right-wing government reacted by pursuing a number of projects aimed at strengthening and expanding housing for Israelis residing in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, a series of measures were imposed on Palestinian civilians, such sealing entire villages in the West Bank and restricting movement for tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of residents, and revoking thousands of work permits.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel or illegal Israeli settlement due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.
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