Israel Closes West Bank for Yom Kippur

Published: September 16th 2010
in News » Israel

Checkpoint along West Bank border.

On Thursday, the Israeli military said it was going to close off the occupied West Bank for 48 hours starting midnight for the Holy Day of Yom Kippur.


"Security crossings into Israel will be temporarily closed," a statement from the military said, "in accordance with security assessments adopted by the defense establishment."


"During the closure, entry (into Israel) will be allowed only for humanitarian cases and medical emergencies," an army statement said.


Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday.


The streets of Jerusalem are expected to be closed as of sunset Friday, as religious Jews observe Shabbat for the Day of Atonement.


Non-religious Jews and non-Jewish residents of the city are prohibited from driving on most city streets.


The West Bank crossing will only be open for those who require medical attention. The statement read that "the passage of humanitarian aid as well as doctors, medical personnel, NGO members, attorneys, and additional professionals will be coordinated by the Civil Administration."


According to Maan News, a spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories office said tourists, as well as those holding international passports, would be unaffected by the closure, but he advised foreign nationals with vehicles that the Jerusalem roads would be closed for the holiday.


Passage for journalists with Israeli Government Press Office certification will be allowed to pass in and out of the area, but they are "encouraged to coordinate their passage in advance with the IDF," the statement said.

Related articles: (West Bank, border, occupation, Yom Kipput)

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