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Israeli forces implement closure on Issawiya neighborhood in East Jerusalem

July 14, 2016 4:21 P.M. (Updated: July 15, 2016 12:16 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Thursday implemented a military closure on the neighborhood of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem, according to locals, as Israeli police forces erected checkpoints at roads leading to the area and searched Palestinian vehicles and passersby.

A member of a local follow-up committee, Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed all the entrances to the village and set up checkpoints in the morning, adding that Israeli police “deliberately harassed” the residents as they headed to their jobs.

Al-Hummus told Ma’an that Israeli forces informed residents the closure was the result of Palestinian youths from the village throwing explosive devices at them during a raid in the early morning hours, which al-Hummus said have been carried out on a daily basis for the past ten days in the area, with Israeli forces shooting tear gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets into the community, while detaining residents.

Calling the closure another policy of Israel’s “collective punishment” against the Palestinians in Jerusalem, al-Hummus demanded that rights groups organize visits to Issawiya to investigate Israeli human rights violations against the community.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Israeli authorities routinely place entire Palestinian villages and towns under blockades following attacks or incidents involving Israeli personnel or settlers.

The southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron has remained under an Israeli military blockade since the start of this month, with Israeli soldiers sealing off the Hebron villages of Bani Naim, Yatta, and Sair following a series of attacks, alleged attacks and clashes that left three Palestinians and two Israelis killed in less than 48 hours.

Israel has been the target of increasing criticisms by rights groups and the international community for its policies against Palestinians, which the United Nations have claimed amount to “collective punishment,” while conducting search and detention raids on Palestinian communities on a near-nightly basis.

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