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OPT: West Bank under lockdown

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Englander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:19 AM
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OPT: West Bank under lockdown
WEST BANK, 28 October (IRIN) - The number of roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank has risen by 40 per cent since the start of 2006, with 528 permanent and temporary checkpoints and physical roadblocks disrupting all aspects of Palestinian life, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Jerusalem.

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"The ability to get to work or get goods to market is severely compromised. It's a continuing shutting down and locking down of the Palestinian areas," said David Shearer, head of OCHA's office in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"We are seeing an increasing fragmentation of the West Bank, which has been chopped into three areas north, central and south and it is increasingly difficult for Palestinians to move from one area to another. The whole fabric of life for Palestinians has been disrupted," he added.

The West Bank is a landlocked territory neighbouring Jordan and Israel. With 2.4 million Palestinian residents and some 400,000 Jewish settlers, 40 percent of the area is under the limited civilian jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, while Israel maintains overall control.

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