IDF lifts day-long closure on Ramallah

For the first time since the start of the current terror wave, the IDF blocked the roads leading to and from Ramallah for several hours today (Monday) in order to prevent future terror attacks – but reopened them several hours later.

An assessment of the situation by the IDF led Israeli security forces to reduce the level of alertness, though there is fear that further terror attacks could still originate from the city. The blockade has also been removed from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, from which several terrorists have emerged.

Residents of the city were allowed to enter but not to leave and non-residents were allowed to leave but not to enter.

The unusual move also applied to foreigners, although United Nations officials, international NGOs and diplomatic staff were being allowed in, diplomatic and UN sources said.

Palestinians seeking to leave Ramallah were also undergoing security checks, leading to frustration in lengthy queues.

While diplomats were not directly impacted, “the travel restriction on Palestinians is having an effect in terms of our ability to engage”, one Western diplomat said.

“A number of meetings have been called off because Palestinian interlocutors have not been able to get to the meeting site.”

Palestinians queueing to leave Ramallah said they considered the measure to be punishment for Sunday’s attack.