NABLUS, West Bank — The IDF has removed the roadblocks that had effectively closed off the Palestinian city of Nablus for the past three weeks.
Dozens of European and American diplomats are touring the city with Palestinian officials today to see the impact of the recent security escalation on the lives of Palestinians in the northern West Bank.
Addressing the diplomats at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh calls for “the removal of the siege to be permanent.”
The IDF has regularly been closing off entrances to Palestinian cities in the area amid an uptick in attacks targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Thus far today, the diplomats have met with residents of the northern West Bank village of Hawara to hear directly on the impact of daily settler violence and with Palestinian business leaders at the Nablus Chamber of Commerce on the impact of Israeli military rule on the local economy.
“Nablus has became like a prison,” one businessman tells the diplomats, explaining that the city is surrounded by settlements, checkpoints and bypass roads for the settlements.
He laments that Israel has turned the West Bank into three islands that are choked off from one another, which prevents a viable economy.
For his part, Shtayyeh says the PA continues to extend its hand to negotiate with Israel.