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Israeli forces besiege Jenin-area town for 6th day

Dec. 29, 2013 11:59 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 30, 2013 10:07 A.M.)
JENIN (Ma’an) – Israeli forces continued to besiege the northern West Bank town of Yaabad near Jenin for the sixth day in a row closing all the town’s entrances with military checkpoints and preventing residents from moving in and out.

A Ma’an reporter says Israeli military checkpoints have been erected at the main entrance in the east and all side streets and agricultural roads. Residents have been prevented from leaving the town to their work or universities. Some people chose to take mountainous bypass paths to leave the town.

A taxi driver, Ahmad Amarnah, told Ma’an that for the sixth day, Israeli troops stationed at the entrances to the town have prevented all residents from leaving. People who leave through mountainous roads could be stopped by Israeli soldiers at Dutan checkpoint, he added.

Ali Abu Bakr, a student at al-Quds Open University, said he and five other students were detained for two hours on Saturday after they were caught trying to leave Yaabad through bypass roads. He explained that they were trying to catch up with their final exams.

“We left (our) homes at 8:30 in the morning as we had a final exam at 11:30. We tried to avoid emergencies, but despite that an Israeli patrol caught us between olive trees and took us to Dutan checkpoint.

“We begged the soldiers to release us so we can arrive at campus before students sit for exams, but they told us that the whole town was being collectively punished in response to stones hurled at settler vehicles on the main road near Yaabad.”

The students were set free only after the Palestinian liaison department intervened. They arrived late at campus, but they were allowed to sit for exams exceptionally, added Abu Bakr.

Shop owner Mahmoud Badarnah says he has been trying to bring milk from Jenin and Nablus for five days, but he has not been able to enter.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return calls.
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