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Israeli forces shut down shops in Nablus-area town, threaten road closures

April 3, 2016 5:20 P.M. (Updated: April 3, 2016 5:21 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers inspect a Palestinian car at a checkpoint close to the West Bank village of Beit Furik, east of Nablus, on Oct. 2, 2015. (AFP Photo/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)
NABLUS- (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces raided the town of Huwwara in the northern occupied West Bank on Sunday, forcing shop owners on the town’s main street to close down.

Israeli forces also reportedly distributed leaflets south of Nablus threatening to set up checkpoints at the entrances to Huwwara if there were any clashes with Palestinian residents of the area.

The leaflets said the threat of escalation in Israeli security measures was due to a recent rise in stone-throwing incidents around Huwwara.

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

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers’ vehicles were recently damaged near Huwwara, which is located south of the city of Nablus, after Palestinians threw stones at them.

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

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah denounced in March 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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