Israeli Claims of Easing Restrictions “Lies"
Abed Rabbo: Israeli Claims of Easing Restrictions “Baseless Lies”
Palestine Media Center- (PMC)
The Palestinian Minister of Cabinet Affairs has refuted Israeli claims that stringent restrictions have been eased in the occupied Palestinian territory, and labeled them as “baseless lies, which will not deceive anybody.”
Israel’s occupation army had claimed that the total lock-down in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was lifted overnight Saturday, effectively allowing some 25,000 Palestinian workers with special work permits to get back to work in Israel.
However, Yasser Abed Rabbo slammed these claims as “totally fabricated lies”.
“The siege and closure imposed on all cities, villages and refugee camps are still as they have been and are choking the entire Palestinian population.” The minister said.
Israel said it would ease restrictions ahead of a Wednesday meeting in Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba between US President George W. Bush, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon to discuss the internationally- adopted “roadmap” to peace.
Yet residents of occupied Jerusalem crossing in and out of Ramallah refuted that claim, saying they are still subject to long queues and strenuous ID checks by the IOF. Residents of Ramallah similarly said they were still forced to walk for long hours while traveling to the nearby town of Birzeit.
Moreover, Palestinian officials in the Gaza Strip said fewer than 5,000 people had been allowed to return to their jobs in Israel.
Meanwhile, Abed Rabbo considered that Israel’s claims about lifting the closure on the occupied territory were effectively aimed at deceiving Washington and misleading it prior to the summit meetings in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh, where Egypt is hosting a US-Arab summit on Tuesday.
On the ground, Israeli sources said IOF shot dead a Palestinian teenager and a man in the Gaza Strip.
17-year-old Lo’ay Hamdan was killed by IOF as he crossed in front of an Israeli tank in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, which has been re-occupied since May 15.
Another man, identified as Mahmoud Abu Amra, 22, was killed near the Kissufim crossing near the northern Gaza Strip of Khan Younis. The IOF claimed the man was armed.