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       Israel blocks entrance to West Bank
         Posted on :20:17:15 Dec 24, 2017
       Last edited on:20:17:15 Dec 24, 2017
         Tags: Israel blocks entrance to West Bank

TEL AVIV: Israel on Sunday sealed off the entrance to the West Bank cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh.

"Israel has decided to close the DCO checkpoint until further notice due to the ongoing rioting that is taking place at the City Inn roundabout near Ramallah's entrance," noted a statement on Twitter by COGAT, a military body of the country that controls the West Bank.

"The ball is in the Palestinian people's court and the equation is clear - when peace is restored, normal conditions will resume, but as long as violence continues, the border will remain closed," added the statement, as reported by Al-Jazeera.

The border checkpoint is frequently used by Palestinian Authority officials, Israeli forces, foreigners, diplomats and journalists for accessing Ramallah to and fro.

Protests in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip erupted earlier this month after US President Donald Trump announced the relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on December 6.

Since then, Israeli forces have killed 12 Palestinians. At least 2,900 others have been injured and more than 400 were arrested.

This comes two days after 128 countries voted in favour of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution, calling on US' decision to withdraw its unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Only nine countries supported the decision.

Trump's Jerusalem move has prompted international criticism and sparked protests across the world.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also rejected US peace efforts and called on the European Union (EU) to take the lead in the Israel-Palestine peace process.

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