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Israeli forces temporarily close Ramallah-area checkpoint

April 6, 2016 7:03 P.M. (Updated: April 6, 2016 7:03 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces temporarily closed off a major checkpoint in the occupied West Bank in one direction on Wednesday afternoon.

All vehicles leaving the cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh were sent back by Israeli forces at the Beit El checkpoint north of Ramallah.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an the checkpoint had since been reopened, although she did not have any immediate information on the reasons behind the closure.

Palestinian communities have seen a sharp rise in Israeli military activity since a recent wave of violence began last October.

Roadblocks, temporary checkpoints, and security checks upon entrance and exit into many Palestinian villages and towns are among the increased restrictions Palestinians have faced.

Israel’s security cabinet in November 2015 gave the army the liberty to seal Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank without first receiving approval from the government.

A senior Israeli official told Israeli daily Haaretz at the time that military commanders would be authorized to independently implement total closures while "searching for suspected terrorists."

The military was already carrying out the decision without such approval prior to the cabinet's meeting, the report added.

Following attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals on Israeli military and civilians that began in the military has frequently sealed villages and cities in the area around the attack or hometown of attacker.

Locals have also reported closures following clashes between residents and forces, as well as arbitrary closure to prevent Palestinians from roads used by Israelis and settlers.
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