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Israel closes areas of Hebron's Old City 'until further notice'

June 30, 2016 10:00 P.M. (Updated: July 3, 2016 2:44 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces closed several areas in the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Thursday “until further notice,” following a stab attack that was carried out earlier in the day in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement, according to local sources.

Locals told Ma’an Israeli authorities closed the eastern areas of the Old City to the Tel Rumeida area from 5 p.m. and “until further notice.”

The Israeli closures have shut down entrances to the Ibrahimi Mosque, the Jabeir neighborhood, the area of al-Sahla, the Abu Sneineh neighborhood, and the area of Tel Rumeida.

The closures were reportedly implemented in order to allow Israeli settlers to move freely through the Old City as they buried a 13-year-old girl who was killed earlier in the day during a stabbing attack in the surrounding Kiryat Arba settlement, locals said. The Palestinian who allegedly carried out the attack was shot dead at the scene.

Palestinian residents near the areas of the illegal Israeli settlement told Ma’an they feared revenge attacks by Israeli settlers in the wake of the attack.

More than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis and some 31 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since the a wave of unrest first swept across the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel in October.

Israeli authorities commonly implement punitive measures against Palestinians following attacks on Israeli civilians and military personnel, including imposing closures on Palestinian villages and towns, revoking Israeli-issued work permits for family members of alleged attackers, and demolishing the homes of attackers' families.

Such actions have been condemned by rights group, who have said the punitive measures amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.

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