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Israel reopens West Bank crossings but keeps Gaza's closed

A Palestinian officer stands at the gate of the Erez crossing with Israel near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on March 15, 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
A Palestinian officer stands at the gate of the Erez crossing on 15 March 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel will open crossings with the occupied West Bank, however the Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing – between Gaza and Israel -will remain shut "until further notice", reported the Times of Israel.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip crossings were forced closed during the final days of the Jewish Passover holiday last month.

"Following an assessment of the security situation, it has been decided this evening (Sunday) to open the crossings in the Judea and Samaria area, except for residents of the village of Rummanah," Israeli Ministry of Defence's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said in a statement.

"Until further notice, the Erez Crossing will remain closed to passage for residents of the Gaza Strip." However, "passage will be permitted only in humanitarian, medical, and exceptional cases and subject to approval from the head of COGAT."

The situation will be reassessed later in the week, the statement added.

The closures are standard practice during the Jewish holidays, in what the military claim is a preventative measure.

READ: Israel to impose West Bank, Gaza closure for final days of Passover

The Israeli measures include the closure of all major roads, setting up military checkpoints and the intensification of the army's presence, as well as the closure of all crossings around the Gaza Strip, tightening the 15-year siege even further.

All such abusive and oppressive actions against Palestinians are said to be needed as a means of "securing the celebrations of the settlers."

Most of the Palestinians impacted are the 12,000 who hold permits to work in Israel.

In March, the Israeli government said it would raise the number of work permits issued to Palestinians to 20,000, according to Israeli media.

Tensions have been running high across the Palestinian territories since the beginning of April amid repeated Israeli arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank and daily settler incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

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