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Israeli forces impose heavy restrictions on movement around Hebron

Nov. 22, 2015 4:33 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2015 4:33 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces have imposed severe restrictions on movement for residents of the Hebron district in the southern occupied West Bank since Friday, locals told Ma'an.

Locals have reported a massive increase in flying military checkpoints on main routes, while other routes have been completely closed off with concrete blocks and earth mounds.

Military checkpoints have been set up between Hebron city and many towns and villages, such as Idhna, Beit Ummar and Sair.

The main roads into and out of the villages of Nabi Younis, Beit Einoun , Farsh al-Hawa and Bani Naim have all been blocked off with earth mounds, locals said.

Meanwhile, the main roads of the villages of Wadi Sair, Dura al-Fawwar and Zeif-Yatta, as well as the main road into al-Fawwar refugee camp, have been closed off with iron gates.

Palestinians who travel southbound from Hebron only have access to two main routes, which are closely monitored by Israeli military checkpoints, locals said.

Locals told Ma'an that everyone who travels through the two routes are being thoroughly inspected by Israeli forces, adding that sometimes strip-searches are performed.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment on the closures.

A shop owner who lives in Hebron, but works in Bethlehem city told Ma'an that his usual 20-30 minute drive to work now takes two to three hours.

Similarly, an employee of the Bethlehem directorate of health told Ma'an it takes more than two hours to make his usual 45 minute trip from home to work.

Thousands of other Hebron residents who go to work outside Hebron district every day have started to suffer serious delays after the heavy restrictions on movement.

Palestinian citizens who frequently travel through the new Israeli military checkpoints said “it is the mood of Israeli soldiers” that decides how long the inspection process takes, or whether someone is allowed access through any given checkpoint.

(MaanImages)
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