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Israel imposes lockdown on East Jerusalem neighborhoods

Sept. 23, 2015 5:32 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 24, 2015 3:29 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities closed the main entrances to East Jerusalem neighborhoods with cement blocks on Wednesday, preventing Palestinians from preparing for the Eid al-Adha holiday, locals said.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli authorities closed the three main entrances of the Sur Bahir neighborhood, as well as three main entrances leading into the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir.

The main entrance to al-Issawiya and the two main entrances of Silwan were also obstructed by iron barricades and cement blocks, while Israeli forces and patrols were deployed at the entrances.

Locals said the road closures were preventing their communities from moving freely, with many residents reporting they are unable to leave their neighborhoods in order to buy the necessary items to prepare for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins Wednesday evening.

The closures come as Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Palestinians attempting to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, preventing entrance to women who had been blacklisted as well as men under age of 40.

The gates leading into the holy compound were also closed, except for the Hatta, Chain and Council Gates.

An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.

Sources said that 37 right-wing Israelis raided and toured the holy site Wednesday morning under the protection of armed Israeli police, adding that dozens of Palestinians were able to enter and pray in Aqsa by noon.

Israeli authorities began ramping up security procedures around the city on Monday in anticipation for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur on Wednesday, and the Muslim Holiday of Eid al-Adha which begins in the evening.

Tensions skyrocketed in the occupied Old City last weekend, leaving dozens of Palestinian civilians injured by Israeli forces and three Israeli police injured.

On Tuesday the Palestinian Prisoners' Society reported that 150 Palestinians had been detained by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem between Sept 13-22, the majority aged between 13-20.

The tensions initially increased as senior Palestinian officials expressed concerns in recent weeks that Israel is restricting access to the compound, a potent symbol of the so-far unrealized Palestinian state.

Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank typically increase surrounding religious holidays.

It is YOM KIPPUR. Jews do not like / to be killed on that day
2260 Israelis Died on Yom Kippur in 1973-- Jews have a bitter memory!
23/09/2015 18:19
Joe Fattal / USA
East-Jerusalem is been under occupation for over 48 years. And is still is, and will be forever as the eternal capital of....No One. Netanyahu's status quo is Netanyahu's mess.
23/09/2015 18:40
Joe Fattal / USA
Jews would have had a worse memory if the US stay out of the war then and Egypt would have been in Tel-Aviv except the US gave the Israelis some satellite photos showing a way for the Israeli forces to cross the Suez Canal and come behind the Egyptian forces.
23/09/2015 19:25
Ruth / USA
The Yom Kippur war had nothing to do with the Palestinians, and it is outrageous to prevent Palestinians from celebrating their holiday.
23/09/2015 19:49
Outlier / USA
Ruth, it does not matter whether Palestinians were involved. Israel was attacked on Yom Kippur and Israel will make sure it never happens again.
25/09/2015 20:58
ian / australia
"It is YOM KIPPUR. Jews do not like / to be killed on that day..." It's not Yom Kippur which puts Jews in any special danger. It's the recent spate of atrocities and provocations. If Jews are especially jumpy this Tishrei it's nothing to do with the high holy day (which is regarded with universal indifference by non-Jews) and everything to do with the wholly understandable Palestinian desire for revenge.
27/09/2015 02:59
ian / australia
"Ruth, it does not matter whether Palestinians were involved. Israel was attacked on Yom Kippur and Israel will make sure it never happens again." Ridiculous, Outlier. How does blocking roads and disrupting Palestinians at Eid make sure Israel will never again be attacked by neighbours wanting to regain their stolen territory (as happened in 1973)?
27/09/2015 03:01
ian / australia
Do Jews go nuts on Yom Kippur? Witness the divorced-from-reality sloganeering, the fantasy of eternal victimhood (when the ONLY threat is teenage stone-throwers) and the mindset that only Jewish life matters. Israel has killed 1,990 children in fifteen years (and indeed 16,000 Arabs in the '73 war) and continues to murder people in the street but all that registers in the collective "bitter memory" is JEWISH casualties 42 years ago.
27/09/2015 03:16
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