Many of the merchants in the city of Qalqilia, a city of 40,000 that is completely surrounded by the Israeli Wall, are reporting that the Israeli authorities have closed the only entrance to the city, and are not allowing goods and food to enter the northwestern West Bank city.

A truck driver told PNN Wednesday that his vehicle is registered under an Arab name, Ahmed Mahajnh. He said, “During my sad trip in Qalqilia with goods to transport, an Israeli officer occupying the checkpoint asked to know where the goods were from. When he learned they were from Qalqilia, he refused to allow me passage. I waited until 10:00 pm with no luck.”

Preventing goods from entering Arab and Israeli areas inside the Green Line through this checkpoint occurred several months ago. However, the Chamber of Commerce and Qalqilia Municipality rectified the situation with the Israelis. But it did not last.

The city is completely closed, forcing merchants, and even shoppers, to pass. Many are forced to use the Tulkarem route, which adds hours if it is even open. All goods, regardless of quantity, are being prevented passage, leading to a further paralysis of an already devastated economy in a city surrounded by the Wall on all sides.