Israel to close down West Bank for Jewish holiday

March 9th, 2009 - 10:36 am ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, March 9 (DPA) Israel is to close down access to and from the Palestinian territory of the West Bank for the duration of the Jewish Purim holiday, security authorities in Tel Aviv have announced.
From midnight Sunday until early Thursday morning the Israel Defence Force (IDF) will implement a “general closure”, as the Purim holiday is, in its assessment, a “highly sensitive period in terms of the security risk”, the army said in a statement.

Access through checkpoints will be granted for people in need of medical care, doctors, journalists, humanitarian aid and aid workers, lawyers, religious workers and other professional groups according to authorisation by Israel offices, the statement said.

Purim is annual holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people under the Persian empire from a plot to annihilate them. The modern-day festival involves costumes and family celebrations.

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