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Israel announces 4-day closure of West Bank, Gaza for Jewish holiday

Feb. 26, 2018 4:48 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 2:34 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities announced on Sunday that a security closure would be imposed on the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza strip for a period of four days for the Jewish holiday of Purim.

The four-day closure will be start on Tuesday February 27th and will end at midnight on Saturday March 3rd.

According to the Israeli army, crossings between Gaza and Israel will be closed and entry into Israel for all Israeli-issued permit holders will be halted.

Only humanitarian and medical cases will be granted permission to cross through the borders into Israel, only after obtaining entry approval from the Israeli side.

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 in occupied East Jerusalem.

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 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

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