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Israel to impose week-long general closure on West Bank, Gaza

April 19, 2019 10:38 A.M. (Updated: April 21, 2019 2:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities declared that a week-long general closure of the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip will commence on Friday ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, also known as Pesach.

The general closure will commence on Friday April 19th and will last until midnight on Saturday April 27th, as Israelis celebrate the Passover holiday.

All checkpoints and border crossings to the West Bank and Gaza will be sealed off and entry to Israel for all Israeli-issued permit holders will be banned, excluding humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases.

Such restrictions effects the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Palestinians.

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.

The closures do not apply to Israeli settlers residing illegally in the West Bank.
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