West Bank on Lockdown

18 March 2010

Freedom of movement for Palestinians was severely disrupted yesterday across the West Bank as Israeli Occupation Forces set up numerous flying roadblocks and closed down towns and villages using steel barriers and concrete blocks. Around Halhul and Hebron access to Routes 35 and 60 was subject to long delays of up to 2 hours and traffic ground to a halt as Israeli soldiers checked identity papers and vehicles. Scuffles broke out between drivers in the queues of traffic at the flying roadblock at Halhul as tempers frayed.

The town of Beit Ommer was locked down by for the second day as Israeli Occupation Forces once again invaded and fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at youths in the streets. Seven people were injured, one seriously, as the protest was forced back into the town centre. The conference organised by the National Committe of Beit Ommar to co-ordinate non-violent resistance to the Annexation Wall was delayed as the PNA Minister was held up at road blocks en route from Ramallah.

In what is seen as further intimidation of the Palestinian population following the widespread non-violent protests in recent days across the West Bank against restricting access to Al Aqsa mosque, the Israeli Occupation Forces are clearly co-ordinating mass operations against the general public.