ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Gallant orders IDF to bolster police forces in central Israel, extend West Bank closure over Passover

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)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has ordered the Israel Defense Forces to bolster police forces in the Central District, following a series of terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank.

The number of troops that will be assisting police in central Israel will be decided by law enforcement and military officials, Gallant’s office says.

Additionally, Gallant has ordered the IDF to extend a closure on West Bank and Gaza Strip crossings for Palestinians.

The closure, during the first days of the Passover holiday, was initially meant to last from 5 p.m. Wednesday until Saturday evening, with another closure on the last day of Passover beginning on April 11 and lasting until April 12.

Following an assessment, Gallant ordered the closure to be extended until midnight between April 12 and 13.

The closure will also prevent West Bank and Gazan Palestinians from entering Israel for prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel had announced it was easing restrictions for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, to allow some Palestinians into Israel without permits.

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