IDF to Close Crossings From West Bank, Gaza Ahead of Israeli Independence Day

Palestinian men wait to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 20, 2015.
SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – All crossings into Israel from the West Bank and Gaza will shut down as a security measure ahead of celebrations marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day, the army said Sunday.

“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.

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

It added that doctors and people with special requirements, including humanitarian cases, will be permitted to cross into Israel in coordination with the government’s liaison in the territories, COGAT.

Tuesday night marks the eve of Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and ends on Wednesday eve when Independence Day is ushered in. The celebrations will continue through Thursday. The Israel Air Force will conduct its annual flyover around 40 cities and towns made up of Israeli fighter jets, including the F-35.

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