The Israeli authorities late Monday lifted day-long restrictions on access into and out of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, imposed after a checkpoint shooting that wounded soldiers.

It was the first time such a step was taken by the occupation entity since the third Palestinian Intifada began in October.

The move kept commuters from leaving or exiting the West Bank city and led to frustration as lengthy queues formed in some areas. It also applied to foreigners, although United Nations officials, international NGOs and diplomatic staff were exempted, diplomatic and UN sources said.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement late Monday that “the crossings to and from Ramallah have returned to normal activity,” following a “situational assessment”.

It had said earlier in the day that only residents of Ramallah were being allowed in, while non-residents were permitted to leave. A military source said greater emphasis was placed on checking those exiting.

Sunday’s operation saw a Palestinian who had worked as a guard for the attorney general’s office in Ramallah open fire at a checkpoint outside the city, wounding three IDF soldiers before being shot dead.

It was part of four months of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming operations targeting the Zionist occupation forces and settlers.

The shooting near Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is based, marked at least the second time a Palestinian security officer has been implicated in an attack against the occupation in the ongoing third Intifada.

 

AFP

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