Al Quds, 1 DzulQa’dah 1436/16 August 2015 (MINA) – Israeli forces last week closed the eastern entrance of Issawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem as well as a dirt road entrance known to locals as Zaafarana, a local committee member told Ma’an.
Muhammad Abu al-Hummus said that the southwestern entrance to the town has been closed for 14 months, leaving only one of the four entrances of the village accessible.
Abu al-Hummus said that 18,000 residents have now been forced to use the same entrance in the village’s north, Maan News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting
Israeli forces cited security reasons as the motive behind the closures.
They said that youths were throwing stones at Israeli vehicles and clashing with Israeli troops near the three entrances that were shut.
The eastern road connected Issawiya with the nearby Zayim neighborhood, as well as the Jerusalem-Jericho highway, while the Zaafarana road is a dirt road local farmers use to access agricultural land.
Abu al-Hummus said that closure of roads is “collective punishment” imposed on residents who are forced to take long and difficult alternative routes to reach their homes.
He pointed out that the lack of appropriate road infrastructure makes the situation worse.
A member of a local committee to defend land in Issawiya, Hani al-Issawi, told Ma’an that the closure of roads impedes the freedom of movement and makes it difficult for residents to access different services.
Al-Issawi explained that southwestern road is the shortest route to Hadassah hospital. After the route was closed last year, residents had faced serious difficulties travelling there.
He said that in the past, the road was closed by Israeli forces for some ten years.
Al-Issawi added that a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Osama al-Saadi, visited Issawiya on Friday to see how residents in Issawiya were coping with the road closures. (T/P010/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)