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World Bank condemns roadblocks

World Bank condemns roadblocks, 5 activists arrested for dismantling them

Three Israelis and two international solidarity activists were arrested today at a non-violent action in Daharia, removing an Israeli roadblock. The roadblock has been installed since the late 2000. It prevents the 90,000 Palestinians in Dhahariya and neighboring villages from accessing Route 60, the main road into Hebron. This forces them to take a longer alternative route, turning what would be a 20-minute journey into an hour and a half. The nearest hospital to Dharirya is in Hebron, so this roadblock added more than an hour onto the journey time for an ambulance, effectively cutting off the village from emergency medical care.

All activists are currently spending the night at Kiryat Arba police station. The Israelis are accused of illegal assembly, interference of a police officer in duty and property damage. They will be brought to court in Jerusalem tomorrow at around noon (exact hour TBA).

As for the 2 internationals, it is still unclear what may happen to them. Gaby Lasky, the lawyer defending the activists, said that they may be sent today to the ministry of interior and face deportation or may be brought to court tomorrow in Jerusalem along with the Israelis.

On May 10, protesters dismantled a temporary roadblock in the Hebron Hills, close to the town of Dahariyah. In response to this non-violent action, armed Israeli soldiers violently attacked Israeli protesters. The military police criminal investigations division has launched an investigation into the incident. Video of the attack can be seen here.

According to a May report released by the World Bank, "Currently, freedom of movement and access for Palestinians within the West Bank is the exception rather than the norm contrary to the commitments undertaken in a number of Agreements between GOI and the PA. In particular, both the Oslo Accords and the Road Map were based on the principle that normal Palestinian economic and social life would be unimpeded by restrictions. In economic terms, the restrictions arising from closure not only increase transaction costs, but create such a high level of uncertainty and inefficiency that the normal conduct of business becomes exceedingly difficult and stymies the growth and investment which is necessary to fuel economic revival."

ENDS

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