Kerem Shalom Crossing
Kerem Shalom CrossingIsrael news photo: IDF

The IDF has designated four areas as closed military zones in preparation for the upcoming prisoner exchange that will free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Effective today (Monday October 17), the areas surrounded the Ketziot Prison, and the Kerem Shalom, Nitzana and Erez Crossings were declared closed military zones by GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo.

The warrant bars entry to anyone who is not a documented resident of the area, unless they possess a special permit “provided by an authorized body,” according to an IDF statement.

The warrant does not apply to the soldiers and police officers who are required to enter the area as part of their work, the IDF spokesperson said.

Maps delineating the specific areas closed off to the public are available at the entrances to the closed military zones, as are copies of the warrant.

Since his abduction in June 2006 at the age of 19, then-IDF Private Gilad Shalit has been promoted to Sgt. First Class. He will be automatically granted honorable discharge and disabled veteran status upon his arrival. 

Shalit is expected to arrive Tuesday in Israel while the first group of 477 Palestinian Authority terrorists, including hundreds of multiple murderers with Jewish blood on their hands, are freed in exchange. A total of 1,027 PA prisoners are to be freed in exchange for the release of the soldier.

Numerous appeals were filed with Israel's Supreme Court over the weekend, challenging the deal with the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza who have been holding Shalit hostage since 2006, but the Court was not expected to intervene to stop the swap.