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Israel prevents Palestinian workers entry to Bethlehem-area settlement

Nov. 6, 2018 4:19 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2018 11:56 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces prevented Palestinian workers from entering the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat south of Bethlehem district in the southern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday dawn, on suspicions of a possible "infiltration."

Hebrew-language news sites reported that settlement security forces suspected an "infiltration" into the settlement at around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Israeli forces then carried out searched across and around the area.

A state of alert was declared inside the settlement as settlers were requested not to leave their homes.

Israeli forces also prevented settlers from opening the gates of a religious school inside a nearby settlement outpost and closed the road leading to the school in fear of possible attacks.

Debilitating poverty and lack of employment drive many workers in the occupied West Bank to enter Israel in search of work. Israel's imposition of closures on the Palestinian territory has severely affected the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who depend on entering Israel, or its illegal settlements, for employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, the majority of the more than 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

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