ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

search

IDF to close off West Bank from Israel for Palestinians at start and end of Passover

Closure is standard practice during Israeli festivals and holidays, which are seen as periods of increased tensions; Palestinians still to be allowed in for Friday Ramadan prayers

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Palestinians make their way through an Israeli checkpoint to attend the Friday prayers of Ramadan at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, near Bethlehem in the West Bank March 24, 2023. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Palestinians make their way through an Israeli checkpoint to attend the Friday prayers of Ramadan at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, near Bethlehem in the West Bank March 24, 2023. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces on Friday announced it was imposing a closure on the West Bank, with crossing points closed to Palestinians, on the first and last days of the upcoming Passover holiday. Gaza border crossings will also close.

The closure is set to begin on Wednesday, April 5 at 5 p.m. and last until Saturday, April 8 at 11:59 p.m. A second closure will begin on April 11 at 5 p.m. and last until April 12 at 11:59 p.m.

On Friday, April 7, some border crossings would reopen to allow Palestinian worshipers from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque after the IDF eased entry restrictions for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

The IDF said border crossings for Palestinians would reopen “subject to a situational assessment.”

Other exceptions to the closures will be made for humanitarian and other outstanding cases, but will require the approval of the Defense Ministry’s liaison to the Palestinians, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Such closures are standard practice during festivals and holidays. The military says they are a preventative measure against attacks in periods of increased tension.

Tensions have spiked in the region over the past year as Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts in the West Bank following a series of terror attacks.

Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent months have left 15 Israelis dead and several more seriously hurt.

At least 86 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.

There has also been a rise in settler violence toward Palestinians in recent months.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.