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Settler suicide prompts checkpoint closures

March 23, 2011 4:39 P.M. (Updated: March 24, 2011 1:20 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The suicide of a settler in the northern West Bank saw Israeli forces close down several checkpoints, implement intensive checks and road closures, during the initial stages of investigation into the death.

Israeli media reported that a dead body was found in a settlement, while Palestinian sources said unidentified settler shot himself in the head near the entrance to Revava, a settlement in the Ariel bloc south of Palestinian villages Deir Istiya and Kifl Haris in the Salfit district.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the suicide, and a spokeswoman said closures were enforced until the nature of the death had been determined.

Mayor of Deir Istiya Nathmi Suleiman said the roads were closed shortly after 1 p.m., and checkpoints around the area were shut down, with increased inspection procedures in place at the Huwwara checkpoint.

The checkpoints and road closures were removed shortly before 4 p.m.

The Israeli news daily Ynet said medics and police were at the settlement to investigate the incident.

Tensions remain high in Nablus since the March 11 murder of five members of a settler family by unknown assailants. Israeli officials pointed to Palestinian militant groups, but the act -- which saw five stabbed to death including an infant and two children -- went unclaimed.

The village of Awarta, near the Itamar settlement where the murders took place, was under lock down for five days after the deaths, and placed again under curfew on Tuesday.
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