Israeli army bans entry to Ramallah for non-residents

Ramallah :- Israeli military forces have blocked entries to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah for all non-residents of the Palestinian city a day after three Israeli soldiers were injured in an attack there.

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

On Sunday, a Palestinian police officer, identified as 34-year-old Amjad Sokkari Abu Omar, allegedly shot and wounded three Israeli soldiers near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in Ramallah. The man was later killed by Israeli forces.

The spokeswoman also said that a decision on lifting the ban would depend on security assessments.

According to Israeli sources, people would be allowed to leave Ramallah only after security checks.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians pay daily visits to the city from al-Quds (Jerusalem) and across the occupied West Bank.

Also on Sunday, a Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli soldiers after allegedly trying to attack them. The Palestinian, identified as 17-year-old Ahmed Toba, was killed by Israeli gunfire near the illegal Sal’it settlement, south of the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The occupied Palestinian territories have been the scene of heightened tensions. The latest wave of tensions was triggered by Israel’s imposition in August 2015 of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

The restrictions have enraged Palestinians, who are also angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers frequently storming the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.

At least 168 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since last October.

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