Israel to close Palestinian territories during Jewish festival
The Israeli military has announced that it will impose a closure on the occupied West Bank and Gaza during the Jewish festival of Purim on Monday and Tuesday.
The army said that border crossings with Israel would be closed at 5 pm on Monday and reopen at 12 am on Wednesday.
The closure is standard practice for Israel, which generally bans Palestinian movements during Jewish festivals. This means Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza cannot enter Israel during the closure, except in certain circumstances.
Last Purim was the first time in five years that Israel did not impose these restrictions.
Travel for Palestinians in the West Bank is heavily monitored and restricted at all times. They are routinely subject to long delays at checkpoints and stoppages at the whim of Israeli soldiers, and often also harass civilians.
Much of the Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank has been confiscated by the Israeli government to build settlements, which are illegal under international law.
The first two months of 2023 have been particularly brutal for the Palestinians, as Israeli forces embarked on near-daily raids within the occupied West Bank.
Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed at least 65 Palestinians so far this year, in what has been described as one of the "bloodiest periods" in recent Palestinian memory.