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Israel imposes closure on West Bank, Gaza for Jewish holiday

Sept. 6, 2018 3:27 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2018 9:52 A.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli authorities declared closure on the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip starting Saturday night for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on Sunday.

The Civil Administration department declared that a general closure would be imposed on the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip's crossings starting Saturday night September 8th, until Tuesday night September 11th.

The closures come as Muslims prepare to celebrate the Muslim New Year, 1440 Hijra, on Tuesday, with worship and prayers planned at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City.

Severe restrictions on movement for Palestinians are typically implemented by Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes, accompanied by increased tensions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Israel's imposition of closures on the Palestinian territory has severely affected the livelihoods of Palestinians who depend on entering Israel, or its illegal settlements, for employment opportunities, medical care and other reasons. Such policies have been strongly criticized by rights groups for amounting to collective punishment.

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