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Israel imposes heightened security measures in Ramallah district

Feb. 20, 2017 10:26 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2017 3:32 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces imposed maximum security procedures at main Israeli military checkpoints in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Monday morning, causing a major traffic jam, local sources said.

Israeli forces "caused chaos" and backed up traffic while conducting thorough searches at the Qalandiya checkpoint that leads to northern Jerusalem, as well as at the nearby internal West Bank checkpoint of Jaba.

Extensive searches were also conducted on vehicles leaving Ramallah at the Beit El checkpoint, northeast of the city.

Israeli police also closed Route 443 at the western outskirts of the Ramallah district, after a Palestinian pedestrian was run over and killed by a speeding car in an apparent traffic accident.

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

The security measures came a day after Israeli forces closed the gate to the main entrance of the village of Nabi Salih, forcing commuters from neighboring villages to take lengthy detours on their way to Ramallah.

Israeli forces deployed at the gate did not give an explanation to locals regarding the motive for the closure, and an Israeli army spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

Palestinian communities are routinely subjected to arbitrary road closures by Israeli military forces for purported "security reasons," an act which rights groups have denounced as amounting to collective punishment.
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