On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers opened a thoroughfare in Nablus for the first time in nine years. On Monday, Palestinian liaisons of the Israeli army presided over the opening of the road that stretches from Nablus to the Palestinian village of An-Naqura. The governor of Nablus has made re-paving the road a priority in hopes that it will be fully functional as soon as possible.
The road being shut down in 2002 forced villagers to take long detours, and even prevented many villagers from accessing their fields so that they can go to work. With the road open, villagers in the north should have direct access to Nablus and to their livelihoods in the fields.
During the Second Intifada, the IDF closed many roads and built many checkpoints, a number of which, despite a lull in violence, are still in place. However, with terrorism such as what happened to the Fogel family a few months ago, it is no wonder the IDF opts to closely patrol roads throughout the area.
In other news, the Palestinian general consul in Alexandria Jamaal Al-Jamal said Tuesday upwards of 2,000 Palestinians have returned to live in the Gaza Strip from Libya, yes, Libya. More than 34,000 Palestinian families live in Libya, numbering in the ball park of 160,000 persons. Some who are trying to flee the war zone have visas which permit them to return to their jobs in Libya.
President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered PA authorities to facilitate the return of more Palestinians in Libya. Palestinian embassies in Tripoli, Alexandria and Cairo are coordinating with each other assisting their return.
In Alexandria, the Palestinian consulate has appointed a team to coordinate the arrival of passengers at the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is even offering health care and meals to assist Palestinians in Libya fleeing from the war there.
Al-Jamal says that he is grateful for the assistance of the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations before thanking the Egyptian authorities for helping to facilitate the return of Gazan Palestinians.