Israeli Forces Intensify Military Restrictions at Nablus’ Huwwara Town

NABLUS, April 3, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli army Tuesday intensified its military restrictions and checkpoints at all entrances leading to the town of Huwwara to the south of Nablus, as well as closed a number of commercial shops in the town centre.

Security sources informed WAFA that armed soldiers intensified their security procedures at the town’s entrances, as well as forced a number of locals to close their shops, in the aftermath of an alleged stone-throwing  attack against an Israeli settler’s vehicle.

Forces further checked the shop’s surveillance cameras and blocked the road junction of the nearby settlement of Yetzahar, south of the city.

Spokesperson of Fatah faction in Huwwara, ‘Awad Najem, told WAFA settlers reportedly intensified their presence in the town’s centre, rioting and attacking locals and passing-by Palestinian-registered vehicles.

According to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights and information center, “Israel’s restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement in the West Bank are enforced by a system of fixed checkpoints, surprise flying checkpoints, physical obstructions, roads on which Palestinians are forbidden to travel, and gates along the Separation Barrier.”

“The restrictions enable Israel to control Palestinian movement throughout the West Bank as suits its interests, in a sweeping breach of Palestinians’ rights.”

B’Tselem said in April 2015, there were 96 fixed checkpoints in the West Bank, including 57 internal checkpoints, located well within the West Bank. The figure for internal checkpoints includes 17 in Area H2 in Hebron, where there are small Israeli settlement enclaves.

“In April 2015 the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) counted 361 flying checkpoints as compared with 456 in December 2014, 256 in December 2013, and 65 from September 2008 through March 2009.”

In October 2015, an ailing 65-year-old woman who suffered from respiratory problems and was on her way to hospital died due to the long delay at an Israeli military checkpoint in East Jerusalem.