Israeli soldiers barred on Friday and Saturday thousands of Arab residents of Israel from entering the West Bank city of Jericho after Israel announced the Palestinian controlled city as a closed zone to them, yet the decision also affected the Palestinians in the West Bank after Israel isolated the city.
On Saturday, soldiers barred hundreds of Palestinian Arab residents of Israel from entering Jericho and forced dozens of buses to head back after declaring the city as a closed military zone.
Yet, the military closure was not only imposed on the Arab residents of Israel but also on Palestinian West Bank residents,
Taxi drivers who were transporting dozens of families visiting the ancient city were detained along with the families at the checkpoints leading to Jericho for several hours; vehicles that were already inside the city had to lineup for several hours at the checkpoint until they were arrived to leave.
The Israeli strict closure on Jericho was intensified after the body of a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem was found near Jericho four days ago. The resident is suspected to be involved in selling Palestinian property in the Old City of Jerusalem to Jewish settlers and organizations acting against the presence of Palestinian in the Holy City.
Jericho, the oldest city in history, was subjected recently to repeated Israeli military attacks, including the attack against the Central Prison in Jericho and the abduction of the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Saadat, who was detained there.
Also, troops closed last week the District Coordination completely cutting all sorts of coordination with the Palestinian Authority (P.A). The Jericho District Coordination Office was the only office that remained open after Israel decided to close all channels of talks with the P.A after Hamas won the legislative elections and the formation of the Hamas-led Palestinian government.