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Palestine: Israel arrests 19 in Jerusalem, closes West Bank

24th Oct 2016
Palestine: Israel arrests 19 in Jerusalem, closes West Bank

By Kaamil Ahmed

 

JERUSALEM (AA): Israeli police have arrested 19 Palestinians during overnight raids in the occupied West Bank as the military closed off the occupied Palestinian territories ahead of a Jewish holiday starting Sunday.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted that those arrested had been involved in “riots” during the Yom Kippur holiday two weeks ago.

Palestinian youth had clashed with Israeli forces in several East Jerusalem neighborhoods after Israeli authorities closed them off with concrete blocks to prevent any access to Jewish areas of Jerusalem during Yom Kippur.

According to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, 64 Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem in the past week, as security was heightened for the week-long Jewish holiday Sukkot.

The Simhat Torah holiday, which marks the year-long cycle of reading the Bible, starts Sunday evening, when a closure will be placed on the occupied West Bank until Monday evening. Sukkot is a week-long Jewish festival, also known as “The Feast of Tabernacles”, which falls shortly after Yom Kippur. Sukkot, in Israel, is a time of vacation – the first and last days are national holidays.

Crossings from the blockaded Gaza Strip will also be stopped except for humanitarian reasons, Israel Radio reported.

Those holidays are often associated, in Palestine, with increased terrorism and break-ins by extremist Israeli settlers at Islamic holy sites, particularly al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

[Archive Photo: Israeli security forces in Bethlehem. Photographer: Wisam Hashlamoun/AA]

 

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