Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ordered on Thursday, following a security assessment, that the IDF impose a general closure on the Palestinian Authority-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria over Yom Kippur.
The closure began at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday evening and will continue for two days until Saturday night at midnight, subject to a security assessment.
The IDF announced that during the closure, entry from PA-assigned areas into Israel will be allowed only in humanitarian, medical and other exceptional cases, all subject to the approval of the Civil Administration.
A general closure is usually imposed on PA-assigned areas at the start of Jewish holidays. The idea behind such a closure is to protect large gatherings of Jews during the holiday from terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem police announced on Thursday evening that, following a security assessment, they will be restricting the entry of Muslim worshipers to the Temple Mount for Friday prayers.
Only men aged 45 and over with blue ID cards will be allowed to enter the compound. Police in large forces will be deployed around the Old City starting on Friday morning to maintain order during Yom Kippur.
Tensions have been high lately, particularly after Fatah’s armed branch, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, has declared war and announced that it would give the “green light” to terrorist attacks targeting Israelis beginning on Friday.
In recent weeks on the Temple Mount, many Jewish visitors to the holy site reported harassment and violence at the hands of groups of Muslims.
On Wednesday night, a large contingent of worshipers who visited the Tomb of Joseph (Kever Yosef) in Shechem were attacked by gangs of Arabs, who threw rocks and bricks at them.
The worshipers were accompanied by a large number of IDF soldiers. The Arabs attacked the soldiers with rocks as well. Troops used anti-riot techniques to quell the mob.