Israel closing off West Bank ahead of Passover as security measure

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Israel will be sealing off the West Bank as a security measure during Passover [Antoine Taveneaux]
The West Bank and crossings from the Gaza Strip will be sealed off for Passover Monday night as a security measure, according to an IDF announcement Friday.

The closure is expected to last from midnight Monday until midnight on April 17, according to Times of Israel.

Israel has closed off the West Bank and Gaza in the past as a preventive measure, including on Sukkot in 2015 and during Passover in 2016, following a suicide bombing in which 20 people were injured.

The IDF announced in a statement this week that, while the area would be closed off, exceptions would be made for “humanitarian” and “medical cases.”

The Shin Bet is concerned that the Palestinian terror group Hamas would use the holiday to perpetrate attacks, as Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman made clear last month.

“We are just before the Passover holiday, and there is no doubt that terrorist infrastructures, mostly the established one, and specifically Hamas, will try to agitate the area and carry out attacks,” Argaman said.

“Our goal, of course, is to ensure quiet holidays for every citizen of the State of Israel.”

Security concerns have been exacerbated after one Israeli soldier was killed and another injured Thursday in a car-ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint. Sgt. Elichai Taharlev, 20, was killed in the attack, while another unidentified soldier was injured.

41 Israelis, two Americans, a Palestinian, and an Eritrean national have been killed in a wave of terror attacks which began in the fall of 2015. Around 250 Palestinians, a Jordanian, and a Sudanese migrant were also killed, primarily while carrying out attacks.

 

04/09/2017 4:26 PM by Menachem Rephun

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