Israel seals off West Bank for Purim holiday, weekend

Young Israelis celebrating Purim in the Nahlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem, March 17, 2014. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90)

Young Israelis celebrating Purim in the Nahlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem, March 17, 2014. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has closed off the West Bank to prevent attacks over the Purim holiday.

The closure went into effect on Wednesday morning and will remain in place until Saturday night, the Israel Defense Forces announced.

Purim takes place this year on Wednesday night and Thursday throughout Israel; Jerusalem and Tiberias in Israel’s north will observe Purim on Thursday night and Friday.

Palestinians will be prevented from exiting and entering the West Bank during this time, except in the event of humanitarian and medical and other exceptional cases, approved by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, part of the Defense Ministry.

The West Bank is often closed off for Jewish holidays, but has not been closed for Purim in several years.

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