Israel removes West Bank roadblock


Israel removed a key West Bank roadblock as part of efforts to ease conditions for Palestinians.

A military roadblock at Sheep Junction, south of Hebron, was dismantled late Saturday under a deal brokered by Israeli-Palestinian peace mediator Tony Blair.

Blair, who represents the Quartet of foreign powers, has been pushing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to remove more roadblocks in hope this would make it easier for Palestinians to travel around the West Bank and allow the administration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to press ahead with a security campaign.

Hebron’s Jewish settlers had urged Barak to keep the Sheep Junction roadblock in place, saying it helped prevent attacks on them by Palestinian terrorists.

On Sunday, Israel lifted a closure that had been imposed last week on the West Bank and Gaza Strip for President Bush’s visit.

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