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Removing Few IOF Roadblocks ‘Peanuts Measures,’ Say Palestinians (Palestine Media Center- (PMC) 07/28/03) Source: http://www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=1&id=947
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Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday allowed only a few of more than 150 major roadblocks in the mostly reoccupied West Bank to be lifted, as part of a public relations campaign by the Israeli government ahead of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to Washington.
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Sharon arrived in the United States for a three-day trip including a meeting with President George W. Bush on Tuesday.
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Two roadblocks, both near Ramallah, were removed by IOF bulldozers on Sunday.
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The Governor of the central West Bank city Mustafa Issa (Abu Faras) said there are ten roadblocks isolating the city from scores of villages depending on it for commercial, administrative, medical and social services.
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Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Ahmad Qure’i (Abu Alaa) said that “peanuts measures will not help in an agreement upon the implementation of (US-sponsored) roadmap,” Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam quoted him as saying on Monday.
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Qurei, who accompanied Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) at the meeting with the US President George W. Bush on Friday, is still in Washington D.C.
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Asked about Israel´s removal on Sunday of two military roadblocks near Ramallah, the Palestine National Authority (PNA) Information Minister Nabil Amre said: "Israel was supposed to remove a bigger number of these roadblocks. We hope the remaining roadblocks would be evacuated soon."
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An IOF spokesman said the Israeli army “is continuing to implement a series of confidence building measures according to the decisions of the political echelon.”
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The spokesman said that Surda, Ein Arik, and Jabal Sindak checkpoints were removed Sunday morning, enabling passage from Ramallah northwards and westwards as well as from Hebron to the villages to the south.
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He added that beginning from last weekend passage was enabled from Tekoa to Bethlehem and the villages of Sayir and a-Shayuh and the passage of vans from the quarries of Bani Naim to Hebron has recently been opened.
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Blockades of the Beit Cahil bridge have recently been removed enabling passage from Hebron towards Halhal and the villages to the north (Beit Omar, Idna, Haras and Tarkumiya), he said.
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The “Back to Back” crossing (transfer of goods) at Awarta, near Nablus, recently opened, eases the entry of goods into Nablus, and has actually doubled the number of vans carrying goods to the city every day, he indicated. (PMC © 07/28/03)
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