Israel will soon ban food from Palestinian residents in the West Bank, an Israeli health ministry official said Thursday.
The Health Ministry’s director-general, Dr. Yitzhak Rabin, said in a statement the move would affect all the Palestinian communities in the territory, as well as those who live in the villages and towns around the West Wall.
“These restrictions are being taken because of the risk of increased resistance, the risks of smuggling, the spread of disease, and the risk to health and well-being of the Palestinians,” Rabin said.
Rabin did not elaborate on the risks to health, but said he would give an update to the government later.
The move was part of a broader crackdown on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank that began with the construction of the barrier in the summer of 2016.
It has since been extended to more than 30 percent of the West, including Jerusalem.
Israel’s health ministry said in November that it had stopped issuing permits to Palestinians to live in parts of the occupied territories, including the West bank.
Israel imposed a total of 16 restrictions on Palestinians last year, but only five of those were implemented, the ministry said.
The announcement comes as Palestinians hold a protest in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., to protest the restrictions and demand an end to them.