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Israel seals off vital road for Ramallah-area villages

May 9, 2019 12:02 P.M. (Updated: May 10, 2019 11:14 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces sealed off a major and vital road connecting the northwest villages of the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah and the town of Birzeit, on Thursday, in addition to imposing a general closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces closed the metal gate, that is set up at the entrance of the village of Nabi Saleh, which residents of several Ramallah-area villages usually use to travel to Ramallah and other towns nearby, forcing them to look for alternative roads.

Sources pointed out that Israeli forces imposed this closure, in order to allow Israeli settlers to hold celebrations near the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, which was built on Palestinian lands, marking the 71st anniversary of the establishment of Israel, which is also known as the 1948 Nakba or “catastrophe” to the Palestinians.

Palestinians commemorate the Nakba or “catastrophe,” which is when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes when the state of Israel was created.

Israeli authorities also imposed a general closure, including sealing off all border crossings across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for the entire day on the occasion of Israel’s independence.

Such restrictions effects the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Debilitating poverty and lack of employment drive many workers in the occupied West Bank to enter Israel in search of work. Israel's imposition of closures on the Palestinian territory has severely affected the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who depend on entering Israel, or its illegal settlements, for employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, the majority of the more than 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

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