The Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday the closure of Judea and Samaria, as well as crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, from Thursday until Saturday.

The decision follows a security assessment by senior defense officials, the military said, adding that the closure would be lifted on April 23 subject to the conclusion of a security assessment on Saturday.

According to Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, during the closure Palestinian worshippers will continue to be allowed to arrive at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for Friday prayers, as has been the case throughout the Ramadan holiday.

In addition, humanitarian and exceptional medical cases will be allowed to cross into Israel.

The IDF said meanwhile that engineering work to strengthen the security barrier is continuing. In addition, deployments of backup security forces and the installation of technological means along the barrier are ongoing, as part of Israel’s efforts to plug gaps that have been exploited by terrorists in recent weeks to infiltrate Israel and conduct deadly attacks.

On April 17, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced a decision to lift the security closure imposed on Judea and Samaria, during the intermediate days of the Passover holiday, after it was imposed on April 15 and 16, at the start of Passover.

The decision was made in line with recommendations by security agencies, according to a statement by Gantz’s office, which added that the situation would be assessed on an ongoing basis.

JNS

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