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April 22, 2016 9:41 am

IDF Closes West Bank, Gaza Strip Ahead of Passover in Fear of Terror Attacks

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IDF soldiers. The IDF closed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday. Photo: Instagram.

IDF soldiers. The IDF closed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday. Photo: Instagram. Israeli authorities on Friday increased security throughout the Jewish state in preparation for Passover.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the Israel Police raised the country’s security alert level to 3 and deployed thousands of police officers throughout the country in recreational spots and crowded areas. In Jerusalem—where a bus was exploded in a Hamas suicide bombing on April 18—3,500 police officers are patrolling the streets.

“These forces are patrolling in all public places, bus stations, shopping malls, tram stations,” said Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

The Israel Defense Forces closed off all crossing points between West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 24 hours starting on Passover eve, while the police have banned Israeli government officials from going to the Temple Mount to avoid inflaming tensions. Seven people were detained by Israeli authorities for allegedly planning to sacrifice lambs on the Temple Mount for Passover.

“The Jerusalem Police works to provide balance, in order to enable all three [monotheistic] faiths to exercise their freedom of worship with the guarantee of personal safety and security, and expects that public behavior during this period will be characterized by tolerance and mutual respect,” the police said in a statement, Israel National News reported.

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