Israel dismantles dozens of West Bank roadblocks

JERUSALEM (JTA) –The Israeli army began dismantling 100 roadblocks in the West Bank.

The dirt mound obstacles that block the entrances to Palestinian villages throughout the West Bank were set up during the second intifada to make it impossible for Palestinians to travel directly from village to village. They are found as well on some main roads in the West Bank used by both Palestinians and Israelis.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the roadblocks’ removal to improve the quality of life for Palestinians in the West Bank, according to an Israeli army spokesman.

Their removal should be complete in time for Sunday’s Muslim Id al-Fitr holiday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

"The decision is a continuation of the government policy to improve the economic situation in the region while maintaining the operational flexibility of the Israel Defense Force and security forces," the IDF spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the army imposed a general closure on the West Bank from Thursday night until Sunday night, the end of Rosh Hashanah. Crossings into Israel will be opened for humanitarian or medical reasons.

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