The Israeli army is tightening the closure it has imposed on the Gaza Strip in preparation for implementation of the withdrawal of settlers from the area, a Palestinian security source reported on Wednesday.

The source stated that Israel intends to close several areas in the Gaza Strip, including Salah Ed-Deen Road, the main artery linking the northern and southern sections of the Strip.

Salah ed-Deen Road will remain blocked during daytime until the Israel completes its withdrawal, and it will be opened for only five hours at night. The checkpoint will be completely opened on Saturdays and Sundays.   

The Palestinian District Coordination Office in Gaza reported that al-Tuffah crossing, west of KhanYounis will be completely closed, while Tal al-Sultan checkpoint will be opened for humanitarian and urgent cases.

The Eretz (Beit Hanoun) Crossing will be closed for one month starting on 11 August 2005, except for humanitarian cases, foreigners, diplomats and senior Palestinian Authority officials.

The Rafah border crossing will not be closed, and al-Mintar trade checkpoint will only be closed in cases of emergency.