In an effort to restore a little peace of mind to the city of Beit El, located in Samaria, the IDF on Monday closed the entrance to the Arab city of Ramallah to all non-citizens.
The ban was also announced by an officer of the Palestinian Military Liasion. “All those whose permanent addresses are not within the Ramallah-El-Bireh governorate will be denied entry until further notice,” he told news agency Ma’an. This closure includes all foreigners as well, said a military spokeswoman to Times of Israel.
The tightened security comes following a shooting attack on Sunday at the checkpoint near Beit El, which left three IDF soldiers wounded, two of them in serious condition. The shooter, named as Amjad Sakari, 35, drove up to the checkpoint, exited the vehicle and opened fire with a handgun. Sakari was immediately killed at the scene following the attack.
In an ironic twist, Sakari worked under Abbas’s Palestinian Authority security forces as a bodyguard for the Ramallah district attorney. He made his true loyalties clear in a couple of Facebook posts before the attack. On Saturday night he wrote, “Every day we hear news of a death. Forgive me, perhaps I will be next.”
Merely a couple of hours before the shooting on Sunday morning, Sakari posted again, saying, “There are things on this earth that make life worth living…However, unfortunately, I don’t see life worth living under occupation — suffocating us, and killing our brothers and our sisters. Please Allah, have mercy on our martyrs, heal our injured, and break the bonds of our prisoners. You were the previous ones, and Allah willing, we will be the next.”
This closure could cause severe problems to countless people who work in Ramallah on a daily basis. Regardless, this measure will remain in effect until both Israeli and Palestinian safety forces can guarantee that security has been restored.