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IDF to shutter West Bank, Gaza Strip crossing points ahead of Independence Day

From midnight Monday, movement by Palestinians from Palestinian Territories into Israel to only be permitted for ‘humanitarian’ reasons

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: IDF soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The army said Sunday that it will enforce a total shut down of all crossing points into Israel from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a security precaution ahead of the upcoming Independence Day celebrations.

“In accordance with instructions from the government and a situations assessment by the IDF, a general closure will be placed on Judea and Samaria, and all the border crossings between the Gaza Strip will be closed from Monday, April 16,” the IDF said in a statement, using the Hebrew term for the West Bank region.

The army said the closure will begin at midnight Monday evening.

Israeli citizens will be permitted to move between the West Bank and Israel. Israeli civilians are not permitted to enter the Gaza Strip at any time.

“The closure will be lifted on April 19 at midnight Thursday, in keeping with a situations assessment,” the statement said.

During the closures, movement through crossings will be permitted on a humanitarian basis, for doctors and special circumstances, on approval by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the army noted.

On Tuesday night, Israel begins marking Memorial Day for fallen soldiers with events continuing on Wednesday. On Wednesday night, the country will begin celebrations for Israel’s 70th Independence Day, which will continue through Thursday.

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