BETHLEHEM, Friday, April 05, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Friday morning closed the road connecting the southern and the northern occupied West Bank in order to empty the road for settlers taking part in a marathon.
WAFA correspondent confirmed that Israeli forces erected barrier and closed a section of Route 60 from the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem, to the outskirts of Jerusalem.
The marathon caused a heavy traffic jam for Palestinian traffic as Route 60 is the main road for Palestinians traveling from the southern West Bank and the center and north.
Palestinian traffic has to take alternative longer detours, including some unpaved, in order to reach their destinations.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians have not been able to travel freely on Route 60, which is spotted with Israeli checkpoints when the road passes from areas under Palestinian control to areas under Israeli military control.
In addition to the checkpoints, Israel has established several ‘bypass roads’, enabling Israeli traffic to bypass areas of Route 60 that passed through Palestinian jurisdiction.
The road is used as a bypass road for settlers traveling between Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem and all of the settlements in the Hebron district.
Israeli 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.