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Israel closes main West Bank road for marathon

Israeli occupation forces placed concrete blocks to stop Palestinians travelling along the Bethlehem-Nablus road in the occupied West Bank. [Maan]
Israeli occupation forces place concrete blocks to stop Palestinians travelling along the Bethlehem-Nablus road in the occupied West Bank. [Maan]

Israeli occupying forces closed the main road between Ramallah and Nablus this morning, in preparation for a marathon organised by settler communities in the occupied West Bank, according to Quds Press.

Witnesses reported vehicles being diverted from the road connecting the north and the west of the West Bank, and the closure of the Za’tara military checkpoint. There was also a heavy security presence on the road, as settlers prepare to run through the area to complete the trek.

Palestinians are forced to suffer daily inconveniences in order to accommodate the illegal settler community in the West Bank. This is the second time in a week that the road has been closed, after Israeli forces accused Palestinians of shooting at a settlement.

Read: Israeli settlers claim Netanyahu does not support settlement programme

Israel has already closed off occupied East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and Gaza for 11 days while settlers mark the Jewish holiday Sukkot which ends on 11 October. While it has become standard practice for Israel to impose blanket restrictions on Palestinians’ movement during Jewish holidays, 11 days is an unusually long period for such a closure.

According to Israeli media outlets, Israeli Minister of Defence Avigdor Lieberman has agreed to allow Palestinian workers from the occupied West Bank to enter the Green Line to access their jobs if they work in important sectors, especially the construction sector.

Read: Tensions high as Israelis storm Al-Aqsa Mosque for Jewish holiday

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