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Israeli army locks down West Bank for Jewish holy day

An Israeli female security officer checks the identity cards of Palestinians as they make their way to attend the third Friday prayer of Ramadan in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, at an Israeli checkpoint in the West bank city of Bethlehem, July 3, 2015.
REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Crossings into Israel from the West Bank and Gaza were closed to Palestinians at midnight on Thursday (local time) for the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

In a statement the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that the checkpoints would reopen at midnight on Saturday.

Humanitarian cases and other special cases would be exempted subject to the determination of the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, the statement said, adding that entry of Palestinian workers to Jewish settlements in the West Bank would also be prohibited unless previously approved.

Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport and the country's land crossings with Egypt and Jordan also shut down for Yom Kippur.

Similar restrictions are regularly placed on the West Bank in the during Jewish holidays such as Passover and Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year.

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