West Bank, Gaza crossings closed for Yom Kippur

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ordered a general closure of the West Bank and Gaza for the Yom Kippur holiday.

All crossings will be closed from noon on Tuesday until one minute before midnight on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces announced.

Allowing crossing based on medical and humanitarian needs will be decided on a case by case basis by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, according to the IDF.

Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Tuesday and ends after sundown on Wednesday. Beginning Wednesday night, Muslims begin observance of the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, or the Feast of the Sacrifice.

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Tens of thousands of Jews are expected to visit the Western Wall on Yom Kippur, according to the Jerusalem Police, which said in a statement that thousands of police officers, Border Guard officers and volunteers will be deployed throughout the city starting from Tuesday morning to maintain public order and security.

The police said it would close entry to the Temple Mount on Tuesday and Wednesday to Muslim men under the age of 40. Muslim men over 40 and Muslim women will be allowed to enter the site. During the four days of the Eid al-Adha holiday only Muslims will be allowed to visit the site.

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