IDF removes two roadblocks in Ramallah area to 'allow free movement'

The IDF on Sunday evening removed two road blocks in the Ramallah area, to allow "free movement" between the city and villages to its east and west, the army said on Monday. "The road blocks were removed in accordance with security assessments at IDF Central Command and as part of the relief plan authorized by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi," the IDF spokesman said in a statement. According to the statement, the "relief plan" for the Palestinian population in the West Bank "includes the opening of a number of central roads and the removal of checkpoints, especially in the areas of Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, and Tulkarm. These steps will improve the overall Palestinian quality of life, allowing for increased freedom of movement. As part of this plan, over 140 checkpoints have been removed throughout Judea and Samaria in the last year." The army said that it would continue to act according to decisions made by the political echelon, in accordance with security assessments. "These actions are meant to further ease the routine life of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria, while continuously fighting terror and maintaining the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel," the statement said.