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The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday afternoon re-opened a checkpoint on the outskirts of Nablus that had been closed earlier in the day, preventing Palestinians from nearby Tul Karm from entering the city.
Hundreds of Palestinians had arrived Wednesday morning at the Beit Iva checkpoint on the western side of Nablus, among them students, teachers, medical personnel, businessmen and laborers, only to be turned away by IDF soldiers.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories was summoned to the checkpoint to deal with the situation.
Activists of Machsom Watch, a voluntary group of Israeli women that conducts daily observations at military checkpoints to monitor human rights abuses, reported that the coordinator had ordered that only students be allowed to pass through the checkpoint to let them take exams in Nablus.
Despite this order, within 10 minutes the soldiers returned to their previous policy of preventing all Tul Karem residents, including students, from passing through the checkpoint.
The IDF had previously allowed Tul Karm residents to enter Nablus via the checkpoint, but had prevented Palestinian travel in the opposite direction.
Travel from Nablus to Tul Karm was only allowed via a northern bypass road that passes through Jenin – a route that lengthens the trip by at least an hour and a half.