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Israeli army block entrances to West Bank village affecting 7,000 Palestinians

Israeli security forces take security measures as Palestinians stage a demonstration to protest metal detectors installed by Israeli authorities on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Bethlehem, West Bank on 21 July 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli security forces take security measures as in Bethlehem, West Bank on 21 July 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has said the Israeli army have restricted the movement of more than 7,000 Palestinians living in the village of Hizma, northeast of Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

“For more than a week the Israeli military has been severely restricting access into and out of the Palestinian village of Hizma in the West Bank, apparently in response to stone-throwing along a nearby road. Soldiers have been deployed at all entrances to the village, and physical roadblocks have been put in place barring vehicular access,” the centre said in a report issued yesterday.

According to the report at various periods during this time the army denied non-residents from entering the village and men over 40 from leaving.

The report pointed out that this violation of the freedom of movement of about 7,000 people is collective punishment, which is prohibited by international law.

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“While the first to suffer are the most vulnerable – those who have difficulty moving around to begin with – the restrictions affect all residents of the village and disrupt their daily lives. Yet again, this type of occurrence illustrates routine life under occupation and the Israeli military’s arbitrary use of its power in dealing with the Palestinian population.”

The report pointed out that this is not the first time the army has closed the entrances to the village. In March and April 2017 the army closed the northern entrance to the village for 40 days, and the southern entrance for 20 days.

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