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Israeli forces erect more army checkpoints in Nablus

April 2, 2011 10:16 A.M. (Updated: April 3, 2011 6:11 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Saturday erected several military checkpoints on the road to Wadi Qana south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, denying local farmers access to their fields in the area.

Meanwhile, 13 busloads of Israeli settlers from the nearby Alfe Menashe and Qarne Shomron settlements were escorted to the Wadi Qana valley by heavy police and military forces.

The mayor of Deir Istiya, Nathmi Salman, said he was denied access to Wadi Qana at gun point and was told the area was a "closed military zone."

He said that Palestinian farmers had gathered in a building near Wadi Qana and an Israeli military jeep was stationed there preventing them from leaving.

An Israeli military spokesman said he was not aware of any unusual activity in the area.

Wadi Qana provides the main source of income for many Palestinian farmers, but they have been denied access to their fields by Israeli forces several times before. Meanwhile, extremist settlers frequently attack shepherds and uproot fields in the area.

In 2010, Israeli forces demolished an agricultural project funded by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Finance in Wadi Qana.

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