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Israel to close Bethlehem-area checkpoint

Oct. 13, 2018 5:44 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 15, 2018 1:14 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli authorities decided to close Checkpoint 300 at the northern entrance of Bethlehem district in the southern occupied West Bank for Jewish holidays.

Hebrew-language news sites reported that the checkpoint would be closed starting Thursday October 18th, until Monday October 22nd, for a Jewish holiday during which celebrations would be held at Rachel Tomb’s that is adjacent to the checkpoint.

The checkpoint would be completely closed.

Checkpoint 300 was built in 2005 two kilometers inside of the green line, despite rulings by the International Court of Justice that the separation wall was deemed illegal in 2004.

High numbers of Palestinians, especially construction laborers, cross through the checkpoint every day, facing frequent overcrowding and often waiting for hours in line due to Israeli security measures.

Israel maintains severe restrictions on Palestinians' freedom of movement through a complex combination of fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, roads forbidden to Palestinians but open exclusively to Jewish settlers, and various other physical obstructions.

At any given time there are about 100 permanent Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, while surprise flying checkpoints often number into the hundreds.
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