Israeli authorities said on Sunday they intend to cordon off the West Bank and Gaza for four days because of the Jewish holiday “Purim”. The closing will start on Tuesday night, until midnight on Saturday. According to the Israeli army, the crossing of Gaza with Israel will be closed and entry to Israel for all holders of Israeli permits will be prohibited.
However, humanitarian and medical cases would be allowed to cross military points, after receiving the Israeli approval of entry. Israel regularly seals the Palestinian territories occupied during the Jewish holidays.
The Jewish holiday of Purim will begin from Tuesday 27 until Saturday at midnight, where the Gaza crossings with Israel will be closed and entry to Israel for permit holders will be prohibited, according to the Israeli army. The closings of Jewish and Israeli holidays are a routine procedure. However, in the past, Israel has closed crossing points around the West Bank and Gaza only at the beginning and end of one-week festivals such as Sukkot, rather than throughout the holiday. In general, the holiday season is seen by defense officials as a period of greater tension in the region, when the risk of terrorist attacks is greater. Typically, tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank enter Israel and Israeli settlements daily to work. A much smaller number of Gaza residents also travel to Israel, mainly to receive medical attention.
The holiday closures in the West Bank and Gaza are intended to prevent attempts of terrorist attacks in Israel during the holidays and to allow Israeli security officials operating the crossing points to hold the festival. This is not the first time that the occupied Palestinian territories are closed during the Jewish holidays. According to Maan, in October last year, the Israeli authorities cordoned off the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 11 days during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Maan said. The reopening of the West Bank and Gaza Strip passages will depend on an “assessment of the situation”. Purim is celebrated in most of Israel this Sunday, while in Jerusalem it is observed on Monday. Israeli authorities generally impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians during Jewish holidays for supposed security purposes.
Last year, during Purim, Israel closed all checkpoints in occupied territory, while Palestinians also had access to the Al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, and all Palestinians under the age of 50 refused to do so. . access to the site.