The Israeli military has closed off the Route 60 highway in the West Bank town of Huwara for Palestinian motorists, following several incidents of stone-throwing toward Israelis earlier today.
In a message sent to residents of settlements in the Nablus area, local authorities say “Huwara is closed for Arab travel and open only for Jews.”
Palestinian media outlets say troops are preventing Palestinians from traveling through the town. The road was reopened a few hours later.
Earlier today, Palestinians hurled stones at Israeli motorists driving on Route 60 through Huwara, lightly injuring a 3-year-old girl in one case, according to the Rescuers Without Borders emergency service.
Huwara has long been a flashpoint in the West Bank, due to a main thoroughfare running through the town that is used regularly by Israelis to travel to and from settlements. There are plans to build a bypass road for settlers to avoid having to travel through the town, but work on this has dragged on for years.
The Yesh Din rights group slams the closure of the highway in Huwara for Palestinians, saying in a statement that “roads for Jews only, and the closure of residents’ access to the town is a complete institutionalization of apartheid by the Israeli army and government.”
The IDF says in a statement that it closed the highway to allow security forces to position themselves in Huwara “for the sake of maintaining the security of the residents and preventing friction” between Israelis and Palestinians.
It adds that after around three hours of closure, Route 60 was reopened for Palestinians.
تغطية صحفية: "جيش الاحتلال يغلق شارع حوارة جنوب نابلس بشكل كامل لتأمين اقتحام المستوطنين". pic.twitter.com/uBdF0BPZ9i
— فلسطين بوست (@PalpostN) October 4, 2023