Israeli Forces Tighten Closures in Beit Ommar, Consider Permanent Blockade

28 March 2011

On Sunday, March 27, Israeli police and military forces began stricter enforcement of the recently-declared Closed Military Zone surrounding Beit Ommar. While some villagers are still allowed through, many now are regularly turned away from the roadblocks, effectively imprisoning them within the village. It remains to be seen whether emergency vehicles would be allowed to pass through.

Israeli forces are also considering a more permanent blockade. In current plans, the main gate would be moved further into the village, while cement barriers and chain-link fences would be replaced with permanent walls. The Palestine Solidarity Project has also heard of plans to encircle the entire village with an isolation wall. In response to the attempt to separate Beit Ommar from the rest of the West Bank, the PSP is preparing to fight a legal battle to halt the construction.

The Closed Military Zone around Beit Ommar was declared on Saturday, March 26, while the barriers have remained in place since Wednesday, March 23.