What an Israeli army closure in Ramallah looks like

Israeli soldiers conduct a search for Palestinian suspects in the West Bank City of Ramallah, Dec 10, 2018. (photo: Flash90)
As the Israeli army invades Ramallah, fear and anxiety deepen among many Palestinians — but so does solidarity.

By Zena Tahhan | +972 Magazine | Dec 15, 2018

The biggest impact of the past few days has been the deepening of solidarity and cohesion between the people. The people remembered that they are all targets of the occupation. The occupation always tries to divide Palestinians, but suddenly, amid the military closures and crackdowns, the people became stronger as one.
— Fadi Quran, a Ramallah-based activist

The past few days in the occupied West Bank have been particularly difficult. Violence, killings, and military raids are common here, but Palestinian cities are now facing even deeper uncertainty and instability.

The Israeli army imposed a military closure on the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, and closed major checkpoints between cities.

The closure, raids, and restrictions on movement followed two drive-by shootings carried out by Palestinians this week near illegal settlements. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in one of the shootings, and in the other, several Israeli settlers were wounded, including a pregnant woman whose baby was delivered prematurely and later died.

As events began to unfold on Wednesday, the Israeli army raided Ramallah and stationed soldiers at Al-Irsal Street, a main street in the city. Within minutes, Israeli soldiers invaded the area, parading their presence very close to the Palestinian Authority’s Presidential Compound and President Mahmoud Abbas’ residence.

Soldiers killed four Palestinians in separate operations across the West Bank, and over the past several days, dozens of Palestinians have been rounded up in widespread arrest raids. Palestinian youths have been confronting Israeli soldiers at checkpoints and near settlements. Soldiers have been responding with tear gas and bullets, killing at least one teen.

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