The Israeli army closed Sunday morning the Za’tara checkpoint in the West Bank city of Nablus, declaring it a closed military zone, while troops took prisoner a Palestinain resident of Jenin city.
The closure of Za’tara, a key route for Palestinian civilians, came as Israel announced Sunday complete closure of the Palestinian territories ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover.
However, Palestinian civilians voiced concern that this checkpoint might be turned into a crossing, similar to Qalandya, situated between Jerusalem and Ramalla.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army took prisoner last night a Palestinian resident of Maythaloun town, just south of Jenin city. Montaser Ref’at, 22, was arrested after passing a military roadblock to the north of Sanour village, south of Jenin.
Witnesses said that the Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint stopped the car Ref’at was driving, then forced him out and took him to an unknown destination.
Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints across the occupied West Bank have grossly restricted movement of Palestinians, forcing hundreds of them to take bypass roads, which are costly and time-consuming. This tactic one one of many used by the Israeli occupation to instill collective punishment and deny Palestinians quality of life.
Israel has repeatedly said it would reduce the number of such checkpoints, yet West Bankers’ suffering increase day by day, as the Israeli army has only relocated a few checkpoints.