Third Intifada? IDF Extends Rare Closure of Yesha to Arabs

The government extended for three days a rare closure on Judea and Samaria to Arabs, who rioted throughout Israel on Saturday.

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 08:46

Arab rioters
Arab rioters
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The IDF, acting on orders of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, has extended by three days a general closure of Judea and Samaria to Arabs. Closures usually are implemented only on Jewish holidays, and the unusual move apparently was made amid intelligence warnings of imminent attacks and spreading Arab riots.

Approximately 50 Arab men and women tried to crash through the Kalandia checkpoint in northern Jerusalem on Saturday. Five rioters were arrested after attacking police and soldiers with rocks and at least one firebomb, resulting in a four-hour closure of the checkpoint crossing. 

Similar riots occurred in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, where rioters closed the main road for several hours, and in Samaria.

In Hevron early Sunday morning, security forces arrested one Arab who was carrying three 3-inch knives. Several hours earlier, Jews and Arabs had attacked each other with rocks in continuing clashes in the Jewish neighborhoods.