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Israeli forces close off main entrance of Nablus-area village

Feb. 14, 2016 5:47 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2016 5:47 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces closed down the main entrance to the northern West Bank district of Nablus's Aqraba village late on Saturday following reports of youth throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at passing cars, official Palestinian sources told Ma'an.

Palestinian security sources said Israeli troops closed the entrance of Aqraba after they claimed youth from the village threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the cars of settlers passing near the village.

A resident of the village, Yousif Direya, said Israeli excavators closed Aqraba’s main entrance with mounds of dirt and prevented residents from going in or out the village. 

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

The two illegal Israeli settlements of Itamar and Gittit surround Aqraba to the north and southeast, respectively.

Israeli forces have shut down roads to a number of Palestinian towns since the beginning of the year, including the city of Ramallah and the village of Qabatiya, after residents of these areas carried out or allegedly attempted to carry out attacks against Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah denounced earlier this month the Israeli practice of blockading Palestinian towns as amounting to “collective punishment.”

“Ongoing Israeli policies of collective punishment, field executions, and blockading Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps will worsen the security situation in the area,” he said.
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