Israeli Army Digs Trenches around Besieged Palestinian Town of Jenin
The Israeli army has dug a series of trenches around sections of the West Bank town of Jenin, which it invaded and partially occupied last month, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Tuesday, quoted by AFP.
Palestinian security officials said that, to the northwest of the town, close to the northern boundary with Israel, a five-kilometer (three mile) long trench had been created to a depth of two meters (6.6 feet).
Other trenches stretched for two kilometers (one mile) to the northeast and for three kilometers (two miles) to the south, they said.
According to the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz daily, the decision was reached after Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer convened a meeting Tuesday afternoon in his Tel Aviv office. The reason cited for keeping the army in the West Bank city is "continuing alerts on the intent of terror groups to carry out attacks inside Israel, near Jenin."
The Palestinian sources told the agency that, to the northeast, Israeli forces had bulldozed dozens of acres of farmland and destroyed water pipes supplying around 20,000 people. Telephone lines had also been brought down, they said.
Jenin is the last of six Palestinian self-rule towns still partially occupied by the Israeli army since the day after the assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister by Palestinian hardliners on October 17.
The town has been described by Israeli officials as a "hotbed" of fighters plotting attacks against the Jewish state and its citizens.
And according to the Palestinian official news agency (WAFA), the Israeli army tightened its blockade on the West Bank city of Nablus, expanding a checkpoint set up 50 meters away from two Palestinian schools in Tel, to the west of the city.
The Palestinian agency said that the Israeli forces barred residents from entering the city, "which has become totally isolated from the other provinces" - Albawaba.com
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