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Israel imposes 8 day closure on West Bank, Gaza

Sept. 24, 2018 11:46 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 27, 2018 3:47 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli authorities declared an 8-day closure on the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip starting late Sunday until next Monday, the first of October, for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the closure will be lifted off the West Bank on Monday, September 24th night but would be imposed again on Thursday night until October 1st.

Crossings with the Gaza Strip would remain closed until October 1st.

This is the third closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza in the month of September, first for Rash Hashanah known as the Jewish new year, Yom Kippur also known as Day of Atonement and currently for Sukkot, otherwise known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

Israel regularly imposes closures on the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish holidays, but week-long festivals like Sukkot usually only have closures imposed at the end of the holiday, lasting a few days.

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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