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Israel announces closure of West Bank for upcoming Jewish holiday

April 8, 2017 12:17 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2017 8:07 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities announced on Friday that the occupied West Bank would  be sealed by the Israeli military for more than a week this month to mark the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The closure is set to begin at midnight on Sunday, April 9, until midnight on Monday, April 17th, an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed. She told Ma’an that all crossings between Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank would be closed “except for special circumstances and humanitarian cases.”

Last month, Israeli authorities sealed the West Bank and tightened the decade-long closure of the Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Purim, preventing movement both in and out of the occupied territory.

Severe restrictions on movement for Palestinians are typically implemented by Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes.

Meanwhile, such policies have been strongly criticized by rights groups for amounting to collective punishment, while blocking Palestinians who work in Israel and Jerusalem from accessing their jobs, exacerbating economic suffering in the territory.
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