IDF blocks entry to Ramallah after terror attack

Israeli security forces on Monday blocked entry for non-residents to the city of Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is based, after a shooting attack the previous day that wounded three soldiers, the army said.

“In accordance with situation assessments following yesterday’s shooting attack in Beit El (close to Ramallah), security measures have been taken in the area and only residents of Ramallah are allowed to enter the city,” a military spokeswoman said.

The measure applied to foreigners as well, she said.

The spokeswoman said a decision on when to lift the measure would depend on security assessments.

The ban was announced Sunday night by an officer of the Palestinian Military Liaison, who spoke to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

“All those whose permanent addresses are not within the Ramallah-El-Bireh governorate will be denied entry until further notice,” he said.

However, several foreigners and locals who traveled to Ramallah for work on Monday said there were no restrictions in place.

“We heard the news last night, so everyone was surprised this morning when we found no extra checkpoints. People came into the office today from many places in Samaria outside of Ramallah without any problems, as well as from Jerusalem. There was some heavy traffic last night, however,” a source said.

The decision comes following recent shooting incidents. Two soldiers hurt in yesterday’s attack were moderately-to-seriously wounded, and one was lightly wounded. Soldiers responding at the scene shot and killed the PA officer-terrorist.

The Palestinian Authority identified the police officer-terrorist as Amjad Sukkari, 29.

Later on Sunday, a terrorist driving a car with Palestinian license plates approached the Beit Ur A-Tahta checkpoint near Route 443 and attempted to run over IDF soldiers carrying out security missions in the area, but failed to hurt anyone.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held the Palestinian Authority accountable for the day’s two attacks, particularly the one near Beit El, since he said the terrorist was a member of the PA’s security apparatus and received a salary from the PA.

It is the same PA that “stands behind the incitement that stokes the terrorist attacks,” Netanyahu said, adding that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas did not even condemn the attack carried out by one of his men.

“I demand that the international community stop the hypocrisy and do everything it its power to pressure the Palestinian Authority to cease its incitement against Israel,” Netanyahu said.