(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

In accordance with a directive by the political echelon and in light of the ongoing cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, the following steps have been decided upon to ease restrictions for the Palestinian population in the city of Nablus:

* All people over the age of 20 will be permitted to pass through during an encirclement of the city, the previous age had been set at 25.

* Expanding the hours of security checkpoints activity:

* Exiting through the Hawara checkpoint from 6:00 – 23:00; exiting the checkpoint for residents of the surrounding villages around the clock.

* Entrance through the Biet Iba checkpoint from 6:00 – 23:00; exit until 18:00.

* Enabling unrestricted access between Nablus and the village of Tel, east of Nablus with the relocation of roadblock 45.

* Placing a medical clinic at the Hawara checkpoint to grant immediate medical treatment to those crossing the checkpoint, and are in need of such treatment. Identical treatment will be introduced at the security checkpoint near Beit Iba in the near future.

The easing of restrictions was made possible by the steady decrease of civilian involvement in terrorist activity in Nablus and the introduction of advanced security examination systems in the security checkpoints. These include computerized examination systems, metal detectors and x-ray baggage scanners, which have proved to significantly improve the quality and speed of the security examination.

The purpose of the easing of restrictions is to further improve the quality of life for the residents of Nablus not involved in terrorist activity while simultaneously allowing the IDF to continue assuring the safety and security of the citizens of Israel.