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Military punishes Hizma’s 7,000 residents by closure on village for alleged stone- throwing on nearby road

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The Palestinian village of Hizma lies northeast of Jerusalem, in the West Bank. About 7,000 people live in Hizma, most of whose land is defined as Area C, under full Israeli control. Over the years, Israel appropriated some of the village land to build the settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Ya’akov west of the village and for construction of the Separation Barrier, which cuts the village off from East Jerusalem. In addition, the settlement of Geva Binyamin was built north of the village and the settlement of Almon to the east. The village lies on Route 437, which serves settlers and residents of nearby Palestinian villages, as well as residents of East Jerusalem traveling in the direction of Ramallah. Israel appropriated some 30 hectares of village land to build the road.

On 13 April 2015, at approximately 2:00 P.M., the military sealed off both entry points to the village and prevented vehicles from leaving the village, claiming that residents of Hizma had thrown stones at the road. At the northern entrance, soldiers placed concrete blocks with a sign reading: “To residents of the area: Several of you are responsible for carrying out riots and disturbances of the peace, which resulted in the erection of this barrier. Do not cooperate with them! Stop these actions, which harm your daily lives. For your welfare, and to restore quiet and security to your area, send us any information you have on these disturbers of the pace and their activity in your area to this number: 072-2587990 or to the following email address: Makeitstop2015@gmail.com. Abu Salam, Israel Defense Forces Headquarters”.