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Israel closes West Bank, Gaza crossings for Jewish holiday

Oct. 15, 2016 8:40 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 16, 2016 6:39 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities are to impose a general closure on all passage between the occupied West Bank and Israel, as well as between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel -- with the exception of "special" and humanitarian cases, for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an the closure would be implemented on Saturday at 11:59 p.m. and would remain in effect until Monday at 11:59 p.m.
The closures come after Israeli authorities sealed crossings for the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah earlier this month.

The restrictions will likely effect the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Palestinians who travel from the occupied West Bank to Israel for work.
Debilitating poverty and lack of employment drive many workers in the occupied West Bank to enter Israel in search of work. Israel's imposition of closures on the Palestinian territory has severely affected the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who depend on entering Israel, or its illegal settlements, for employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, the majority of the more than 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a near-decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.
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