Israel imposes Yom Kippur closure of West Bank


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The West Bank was closed by the Israeli military ahead of Yom Kippur.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ordered the closure, which begins at 11:59 p.m. Thursday and will remain in effect until the same time on Saturday.

Palestinians needing humanitarian assistance will be able to enter Israel with the permission of the Civil Administration.

Ben Gurion Airport also will be closed to all flights from 2 p.m. Friday, Yom Kippur eve, through Saturday night following the end of Yom Kippur. All radio and television stations also go off the air for the Day of Atonement.

Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, coincides this year with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the second most important holiday on the Muslim calendar. Eid al-Adha commemorates the near sacrifice by Abraham of his son Issac.

Fearing clashes between Jews and Muslims during the holiday observances, police will increase their presence in mixed Arab- and Jewish-Israeli cities — especially in Jerusalem and Acre — according to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

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