Israel closes Palestinian territories for holiday
alcohol but play only slow music during an initial 30-day morning period and are expected to close by 1am at the latest. – ISRAEL closed off the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip yesterday for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the army said, as concerns rose over whether visits to a sensitive holy site could lead to more violence.
The restrictions barring Palestinians from entering would remain in place through today, but humanitarian cases would be allowed passage, said an army spokesperson.
Sukkot usually sees an increase in the number of Jewish visitors to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, which has led to clashes in past years.
The site is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it, and the holy site is central to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Palestinians fear Israel may one day seek to assert further control over it.
Yesterday evening marked the beginning of Sukkot, a week-long holiday to commemorate the Jewish journey through the Sinai wilderness to the Holy Land after the biblical exodus from Egyptian slavery.
It is the third of three successive Jewish holidays that have led to tensions with the Palestinians in the past.
Last week, Jews marked Yom Kippur, while Rosh Hashanah, or New Year, was the previous week. –
(From left) Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma pose during the BRICS Summit in Goa yesterday.