West Bank, Gaza sealed for holiday


Israel sealed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

The defense ministry imposed a general closure on the territories Wednesday, saying it would be reviewed when Jewish New Year celebrations end at the weekend.

Security sources said that with Israel receiving intelligence warnings of approximately eight planned and potentially Palestinian terrorist attacks, the clampdown could last through the entire High Holy Days. Israel believes that Hamas in the West Bank is keen to stir up new violence that would embarrass the new, Western-backed administration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Jerusalem officials said the armed forces also would step up their efforts to strike Palestinian rocket crews in Gaza before they can fire into Israel. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened high-level discussions on a response to the Gazan salvoes after a rocket hit an Israeli army base Tuesday, but decided against a ground sweep for now.


Recommended from JTA