Palestinian residents of a village cut off by Israeli military closures hold prayer services at the roadblock to protest.
Photos and text : Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills
Tens of Palestinian residents of the village of Betia, south of Nablus, moved their Friday noon prayer from mosques to in front of Israeli dirt mounds that block the main entrance of their town, to protest an Israeli closure that was in its fifth day. The Israeli military roadblocks are unmanned, and entirely block Palestinian residents from using their vehicles on the main roads leading in and out of their villages.
Palestinian protesters condemned what they consider to be collective punishment and called on Israel to re-open the main entrance of their village, a road that serves tens of thousands of Palestinians who travel on it to and from their homes.
The road, which connects several Palestinian villages and town, leads to Road 60, a major Israeli-controlled highway that serves as an artery connecting the northern and southern West Bank.
An Israeli military spokesperson told Ma’an that the road was closed following numerous incidents of Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli settler vehicles. He could not immediately specify whether any Israelis had been injured in stone-throwing incidents in the area recently.
It is worth mentioning that access road to Beita, in addition to six other Palestinian roads, was blocked in the beginning of September for about a week, before they were reopened again for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
It is quite common for the Israeli military to block and shut down Palestinian roads in the West Bank. Usually, Israeli explains such steps as being necessitated by “security reasons” while Palestinians consider them to be collective punishment.