Israel bans Palestinian vehicles from major West Bank road for settler march

Israel bans Palestinian vehicles from major West Bank road for settler march
Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank have barred all Palestinian vehicles from using the Nablus-Jenin road, to allow settlers to conduct a march
2 min read
31 December, 2021
Israeli forces shut the entrance to the Burqa village [Getty]

Israeli forces barred Friday all Palestinian vehicles from using part of a major highway running through the north of the occupied West Bank.

Soldiers blocked off the Nablus-Jenin section of Route 60 to allow settlers to conduct a march, security sources told Wafa, the Palestinian Authority's official news agency.

Settlers plan to march from the illegal Israeli settlement of Shavei Shomron, west of Nablus, to the evacuated Israeli settlement outpost of Homesh, near the town of Burqa.

Earlier this week, the entrance to Burqa was shut down by Israeli forces to allow settlers to storm the Homesh output.

Homesh was evacuated in 2005, but Palestinian residents in the area continue to suffer settler violence.

On Thursday evening, settlers pelted Palestinian vehicles travelling along the road with stones and empty bottles.

Ghassan Daghlas, a local activist who monitors Israeli settler violence, told Wafa that a group of settlers gathered near the villages of Sebastia and Burqa and attacked Palestinian vehicles travelling along Route 60.

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Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various violations against Palestinian civilians. 

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Many of the illegal settlements resemble towns and suburbs, with built-up neighbourhoods and shopping malls. Some settlers have established dozens of additional outposts without authorisation from Israeli authorities.

The West Bank is home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians, who face settler and military violence in their daily lives under the occupation.

Rights groups have accused Israeli forces of showing "appalling disregard for human life" by using unlawful lethal force against Palestinians who they accuse of planning to carry out "attacks".

Amnesty International has repeatedly urged an end to the "worrying rise in unlawful killings by Israeli forces, fostered by a culture of impunity".