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Israel lifts ban on international travel for Hebron residents

June 29, 2014 2:22 P.M. (Updated: June 29, 2014 7:08 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel has ended a ban on the international travel of Palestinian residents of Hebron beginning Sunday, the Palestinian general director of crossings and borders said.

The ban on Hebron residents using the Allenby Bridge -- the only connection to the outside world for West Bank residents under military occupation and banned from using Israel's nearby Ben Gurion airport -- was imposed on the 800,000 residents of Hebron two weeks ago after three Israeli teenagers went missing from the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion.

The ban was lifted after great effort on the part of Palestinian officials, general director Nathmi Muhanna said.

Muhanna told Ma'an that Israeli authorities notified the Palestinian minister of civil affairs Hussein al-Sheikh that Palestinians from the Hebron district are now permitted to use the Allenby Bridge, sometimes called the King Hussein or Karama crossing, into and from Jordan.

He added that all travelers from Hebron who entered the crossing Sunday were allowed to leave for Jordan, and not a single passenger was denied.

The ban was imposed as part of wider restrictions on the movement of all Palestinians from Hebron, and the Israeli military continues to maintain a heavy presence in the region as the search for the three teenagers continues.

Israel has accused Hamas of being behind the "kidnapping," a charge Hamas has strongly denied.

Since the campaign began, seven Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed, more than 130 injured, and nearly 600 detained.

Palestinian officials have accused Israel of engaging in "collective punishment" in the campaign.
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