For the eighth day in a row, the western villages and towns surrounding Bethlehem city have been sealed by Israel in order to prevent Palestinian "stone throwers".
Head of Hosan village council, Hasan Hamamreh, told QudsPress that barriers have been set up by the Israeli forces at the entrances to the villages claiming this would stop settlers' cars being hit by stones.
With this, Israel has "imposed a blockade on some 25,000 Palestinians living within the villages of Husan, Nahalin, Wad-Vokin and Bteir," he explained.
He added: "Palestinians entering and exiting their villages would end up taking the only other route close to the Beitar Illit settlement established on Hosan and Nahalin land west of Bethlehem, and be possible subjects to settler harassment."
The barriers also enable the Israeli army to detain and interrogate Palestinian youths while on their way home, Hamamreh said.
The army circulated flyers justifying the closure and the punitive measures, blaming stone throwing for the need for this step.