As part of the preparations and high alert for the Arab “Land Day”, which will be marked on Friday, the IDF Spokesman announced on Thursday night that, following a decision by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a general closure was imposed on the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.
The closure was imposed as of 11:59 p.m. (Israel time) on Thursday night and will be removed on Friday at 11:59 p.m. (Israel time), pending an assessment of the security situation in the region.
According to the IDF announcement, during the closure movement into Israeli territory will be allowed only for humanitarian reasons, medical reasons and other exceptions, all subject to the approval of the Civil Administration.
Earlier Thursday it was reported that the IDF, police and Shin Bet, as well as MDA emergency services, are all poised for dealing with possible Arab disturbances during Land Day.
Security forces expect violence by Arab citizens of Israel and Arab residents of Jerusalem. Hundreds of additional police have beefed up security presence in and around Jerusalem. These include snipers and Yasam Special Forces, which will break up violent altercations and break into the Temple Mount if necessary.
Most forces will be placed near mosques, where Muslims hold their Friday prayers.
Arabs from neighboring countries – Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – as well as from Gaza, are expected to march toward the Israeli border in a planned ‘Global March to Jerusalem’. According to intelligence assessments, Iran is behind these initiatives.