Israel closes off West Bank for 48-hours

January 2nd, 2009 - 7:23 am ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Jan 2 (DPA) Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak slapped a 48-hour closure on the West Bank, preventing Palestinians from entering Israel, beginning at one minute to midnight Thursday, the Israeli army announced.Humanitarian cases and people in need of medical assistance would however be allowed to enter the country, the Israeli military said in a statement.

No reason was given in the statement for the closure, save unspecified “security assessments,” but the Jerusalem Post daily reported on its website that the curfew was imposed following warnings that militants were planning attacks in retaliation for Israel’s offensive against the Islamic Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.

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