IOF beseige 25,000 Palestinians in West Bethlehem villages

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) for ten days now have been closing down all main entrances to Palestinian towns and villages in the western countryside of Bethlehem, central West Bank.

Local sources said that the army installed checkpoints and barries in the area, and have been searching residents and their vehicles.

About 25,000 people in the towns of Husan, Nahalin, Wadi Fukin and Battir, west of Bethlehem, have been living under tight siege for nearly nine days, according to local official Hasan Hamamreh.

The local residents are forced to use a road near the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit and thus exposed to assaults and harassment by extremist settlers, Hamamreh said.

The closure comes as a “collective punishment” for the clashes and stone-throwing during clashes.

The Israeli army claimed it took these measures after Jewish settlers’ cars had been exposed lately to several stone-throwing attacks on roads near those towns and villages.