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Israeli forces block off main road in Bethlehem area

Feb. 13, 2017 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2017 10:23 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces closed a main road in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Monday morning, blockading a route used every day by thousands of commuters from four Palestinian villages.

Israeli forces placed rocks and earth mounds in the middle of a road near the village of al-Khader. The road serves as a main route between Bethlehem city and the villages of Husan, Battir, Nahhalin, and Wadi Fukin.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that Israeli forces closed the southern entrance to Husan due to "repeated stone-throwing incidents" over the past few months that targeted Israeli vehicles traveling along the adjacent bypass road.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "traffic was rerouted" and an entrance to the village of Husan was closed after a recent "significant increase in terror activities against civilians in the Husan area," without specifying which kind of "terror activities" it was alleging were being committed by Palestinian residents.

Israel has come under harsh international condemnation for its response to alleged stone throwing by Palestinian youth through erecting checkpoints and road blocks, which rights groups have said amounted to “collective punishment” and represents a clear violation of international law.
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