Israel to close West Bank and Gaza crossings for Memorial Day and Independence Day
The Israeli Defense Forces ad Sunday that it would close all crossings to Israel from the West Bank and Gaza Strip for two days starting Tuesday evening for the country’s memorial and independence days.
The shutdown – a common practice for religious and national holidays – was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday and last until 12:01 a.m. Friday, pending an “assessment of the situation,” the military said.
The IDF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases” with the approval of the Defense Ministry’s coordinator of government activities in the territories.
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Memorial Day officially begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday night with a siren sounding across the country. The commemorations continue throughout the next day – another siren sounds at 11 a.m. – until Israelis transition from mourning to jubilation on Wednesday evening as the country kicks off its Independence Day celebrations.
The shutdown will affect the tens of thousands of Palestinians who legally work in Israel every day, most in construction and maintenance.
Israeli citizens will still be allowed to move between the West Bank and Israel.