Israel seals Gaza border, closes Al Aqsa Mosque during Israeli elections Tuesday

The border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip – Karni, Erez and Kerem Shalom – have been tightly sealed by Israeli forces during Israeli elections on Tuesday. The Israel Army also tightened a closure on the West Bank, including closing the main Ramallah-Jerusalem checkpoint, Qalandia checkpoint, to Palestinians.

Thousands of police officers and Border Police troops are being deployed Tuesday throughout the country, particularly in Jerusalem and along the seam line boundary with the West Bank.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 22,000 uniformed and undercover officers would deploy at city entrances and at shopping malls and other public places deemed possible targets.

The Jerusalem District Police on Monday closed off the Al Aqsa Mosque to visitors ahead of general elections Tuesday, following warnings of potential disruptions of Israeli elections.

Jerusalem police are on heightened alert in light of the possibility of an attack by what they termed ‘extremists’.  Israeli Police have increased significantly the number of policemen deployed in East Jerusalem and around the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Security forces were put on high alert status throughout the country at the beginning of the week as more than 70 warnings of planned terror attacks were registered, 16 of them ‘focused’ warnings, Israel Radio reported.  The Radio also reported ‘intelligence’ that Palestinian resistance groups were potentially planning attacks.

In the past, such warnings have been used to justify closures of Palestinian areas, and human rights groups have argued that the ‘intelligence’ is a ruse to carry out planned seizures and extensive closures of Palestinian territory.

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IMEMC & Agencies

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