Israel Seals Off West Bank, Gaza for Memorial Day, Independence Day

From Tuesday midnight to Thursday midnight, entry into Israel will be permitted only in humanitarian and health related cases.

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Israeli soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint near the West Bank of Nablus, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015.Credit: AP

Israel has imposed a closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, starting Tuesday midnight and ending midnight on Thursday, after Independence Day.

This is a comprehensive step that will restrict the work of about 60,000 Palestinians during Memorial Day and Independence Day.

According to the IDF spokesman, during those days, which are defined as a time of “general closure,” entry into Israel will be permitted only in cases related to humanitarian and health-related issues. That will also require the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. 

The defense establishment usually imposes a general closure on the territories during major Jewish holidays, mainly during Yom Kippur and Passover. Last Purim, a closure was also imposed. According to a defense establishment source, the decision originated with the political leadership, and was designed to reduce the friction between Palestinians and Israelis.