Israel blockades Palestinian city of Nablus following stabbings

Published March 3rd, 2016 - 10:30 GMT
A Palestinian youth was arrested by Israeli police in Qabatiya on 4 February. (AFP/File)
A Palestinian youth was arrested by Israeli police in Qabatiya on 4 February. (AFP/File)

Israeli forces closed all roads leaving Nablus city and shut the entrances to nearby villages after two Israeli soldiers were stabbed and injured in an attack near the Burin village in southern Nablus Wednesday evening, the Palestinian military liaison office said.

The office said Israeli forces officially informed them that all roads leading out of the city would be closed, including Huwwara checkpoint, the major thoroughfare in the northern occupied West Bank. Traffic travelling northbound into Nablus remains open.

Israeli forces also closed Awarta checkpoint, Yitzhar road and the Jit crossroad for traffic travelling both ways.

The Deir Sharaf, al-Bathan, Zaatara roads and Route 17 will remain open.

Palestinian security sources said Israeli forces raided the villages of Burin, Madama and Iraq Burin until dawn as part of the forces' operation overnight Wednesday.

The sources said during the raids, Israeli forces detained four Palestinians identified as Islam Nasser Asous, Nael Dahshat Qadus, Malek Fateh Qadus and Saad Hussam Faqih.

Surveillance cameras in the villages were also confiscated.

The Israeli police said during the raids armed Palestinians opened fire at a police patrol in the area. no injuries were reported.

The areas were closed down after two Israeli soldiers on patrol were stabbed and lightly injured on Wednesday evening. Forces said two Palestinians carried out the attack and fled the scene.

Hebrew media reported that the two Palestinians took the soldiers' weapons before fleeing, though that has not been officially confirmed.

Israeli forces have shut down roads to a number of Palestinian towns since the beginning of the year, including the city of Ramallah and the village of Qabatiya, after residents of these areas carried out or allegedly attempted to carry out attacks against Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah denounced earlier this month the Israeli practice of blockading Palestinian towns as amounting to "collective punishment."

"Ongoing Israeli policies of collective punishment, field executions, and blockading Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps will worsen the security situation in the area," he said.

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