RAMALLAH, Tuesday, August 30, 2022 (WAFA) – For the third consecutive day, Israeli forces today sealed off the main entrances of Silwad town, east of Ramallah, according to a municipal source.
The town mayor, Raed Hamed, said that Israeli troops continued to block the western entrance of the town by earth mounds and set up a permanent checkpoint at the town’s eastern entrance, inspecting commuters on their way out and in and occasionally closing it for long hours.
He added that the closure has cut off the residents from their cemetery, close to the western entrance and forced students enrolled in Birzeit University to take lengthy detours by bus to reach it.
Should a resident pass away during the closure, he explained, mourners would be forced to take a lengthy route passing through the nearby towns of Ein Yabrud, Dura al-Qari'a, Ein Siniya and Yabrud to reach it provided that the checkpoint at the eastern entrance is open.
The closure has impacted rubbish collection, making the town’s main landfill inaccessible and causing rubbish heaps to increasingly litter the streets.
He slammed the closure as a form of collective punishment not only against Silwad residents but also against the Yabrud, which depends on Silwad for food, stationary and medical supplies.
Israel severely restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement through a complex combination of approximately 100 fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, settler-only roads and various other physical obstructions.
Closures besides to other measures, taken under the guise of security, are intended to entrench Israel’s 51-year-old military occupation of the West Bank and its settler colonial project which it enforces with routine and frequently deadly violence against Palestinians.