Israel seals West Bank before Purim holiday

JERUSALEM, Mar 18, 2011 (AFP) – The Israeli army has sealed off the occupied West Bank until Monday night for fear of attacks during the Jewish Purim holiday, the military said.

The closure came into effect Thursday night and will be lifted at 11.59 pm (2159 GMT) on Monday, the military spokesman’s office said in a statement. Only medical and humanitarian emergencies will be excepted, it added.

The Gaza Strip is permanently closed except for special cases.

The carnival-like Purim festival will be celebrated in most of the Jewish world from sundown on Saturday until sundown the following day, although it is observed one day later in Jerusalem.

Israel regularly tightens restrictions on movement in and out of the West Bank and Gaza around major Jewish holidays.


© Copyright AFP 2011.

Israel seals West Bank before Purim holiday – Money – Zawya.

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