IDF to Impose Closure of West Bank, Gaza Strip During Passover Holiday

A Palestinian boy throws stones towards an Israeli army watchtower during clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli soldiers at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 16, 2009. Israel slammed the adoption of an 'unjust' UN report on the Gaza war on October 16, warning …

Israel will impose a closure of the West Bank for the entire week of Passover, from Monday until Monday April 17. Passage will only be allowed for medical, humanitarian and other exceptional cases.

Following a recent car-ramming terror attack in the West Bank in which one Israeli man was killed, the IDF will increase the number of troops deployed along potential flash points across the country.

According to a report on Israel’s Channel 10 website, the closure, at the instruction of the government, will begin at Midnight on April 10. It will include the entire West Bank as well as all crossings leading to and from the Gaza Strip.

People wishing to cross into Israel from both the Gaza Strip and West Bank will need to receive approval from COGAT, the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

In addition, the IDF decided to impose a “breathing closure” of the village of Silwad, from where the terrorist who carried out the car ramming attack came.

The term means a stringent examination by a permanent IDF contingent at the entry point to the West Bank village.
Every person leaving the village is frisked for fear that the terrorist may inspire copycats from among his friends and relatives in the village.

In addition, the army has begun to place cement cubes near junctions where soldiers and civilians hitchhike, since cement posts intended to protect hitchhikers from car ramming attacks have been breached on several occasions.

The closure this year will be a week long. According to a report in the Times of Israel from last year, during the last Passover holiday the army imposed a closure for only 48 hours.


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