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Israel Will Not Close West Bank Crossings During Purim for First Time in Five Years

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A general view picture shows houses in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the West Bank, Feb. 15, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad / File.

For the first time in five years, Israel will not place the West Bank under closure during the Purim holiday, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

Israel often imposes closures on West Bank crossings during holidays for security reasons, but in this case the decision not to was adopted by wide consensus in the security establishment, Israeli news site Walla has reported.

Consultations were held and none of the relevant officials raised objections, due to the belief that, despite some outbreaks of low-level violence, there is a state of relative calm in the West Bank.

The IDF, in particular, believes that security collaboration with the Palestinian Authority is strong and has improved in its effectiveness.

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The security establishment also does not wish to add any further pressure on the Palestinian “street,” which could result from a closure that would prevent tens of thousands of Palestinians from working in Israel proper.

The decision against closure was also related to a series of initiatives by security and political officials to improve the economic situation in the West Bank, which have included changes in tax policy, facilitating salary transfers, cutting red tape, and other measures.

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