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Israel to impose Jewish holiday closures on West Bank and Gaza 

Palestinians wait to cross the Hawara checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus [Apaimages]
Palestinians wait to cross the Hawara checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus [Apaimages]

The West Bank and Gaza Strip crossings will be closed for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the Israeli army has announced. The Rosh Hashanah closure will begin on Sunday at 4 pm and last until 11:59 pm on Tuesday. For Yom Kippur, closures will begin on 4 October at 12:01 am and last until 11:59 pm on 5 October.

Exceptions to the closures will be made for humanitarian and other outstanding cases, added the army. However, they will require the approval of the Israeli Defence Ministry's liaison to the Palestinians, known as COGAT.

The closures are standard practice during Jewish holidays, in what the military claim is a preventative measure. They include the closure of all major roads, the setting up of 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.

Such abusive and oppressive actions against Palestinians are said to be needed as a means of "securing the celebrations of the settlers." All Israeli Jewish settlers and the settlements in which they live on stolen Palestinian land are illegal under international law.

READ: 20 Palestinians wounded in settler attack on Jerusalem

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