Israel to impose 9-day blockade of West; Bank

Mohammad Mari; 28/3/10;

Israeli forces will impose a full blockage of the West Bank starting Sunday night. The blockade will be in effect for nine days. The closure will be lifted following another security assessment after the Israeli Passover holiday is over. The Israeli army said in a press statement that following orders of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, thousands of Palestinian workers will be barred from reaching their places of work during the nine-day closure. The Israeli army announced that entry into Israel from the West Bank during Passover will only be permitted in humanitarian cases.

The statement said that some 1,000 church workers, 550 teachers and students, 150 Waqf employees and 100 religious workers will be allowed to enter East Jerusalem. Christian citizens will also be permitted to leave the West Bank in order to celebrate Easter in Israel, the statement said. The Jewish holiday of Passover will take place this year from sunset of March 29 to April 6.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces operating in the West Bank on early Friday arrested 6 Palestinians, sources from both sides said. The Palestinian sources said that the 6 Palestinian youth were arrested in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tulkarm and Hebron. Israeli security sources told the Army Radio that the six detainees were “wanted by Israeli security agencies” and were taken to unknown locations for questioning by the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet.