Israel to impose West Bank, Gaza crossing closures during Jewish holiday

Middle East Monitor  /  March 6, 2023

Israeli occupation forces announced yesterday that no crossings or checkpoints will operate from today until Wednesday, leaving the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip cut off.

The decision comes as Israel prepares to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim tomorrow and Wednesday. The closures are standard practice during the Jewish national holiday of Purim, which the military claim is a preventative measure.

Exceptions will be made for humanitarian and other outstanding cases. Still, they will require the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the occupation force in charge of Palestinian affairs in the occupied territories.

According to The Times of Israel, the occupation said the border crossings for Palestinians were to reopen on Thursday “subject to a situational assessment.”

The Israeli measures include the closure of all major roads, setting up military checkpoints and the intensification of the army’s presence, as well as the closure of all crossings around the Gaza Strip, tightening the siege even further.

All such abusive and oppressive actions against Palestinians are said to be needed as a means of “securing the celebrations of the settlers.”

Last year was the first year in five years in which a closure was not imposed on the occupied West Bank. These closures further damage and limit the growth of the Palestinian economy.

Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar, which generally falls in late winter or early spring.