The Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, ordered a full closure on all Israeli-occupied Palestinian land in advance of the Israeli holiday of 'Remembrance Day'. The occupied Gaza Strip is already under a full closure, having been put under siege months ago, but the closure will begin Tuesday night in the occupied West Bank. It is common practice for the Israeli military to clamp down on the entire Palestinian population every time the Israelis want to celebrate a holiday. There is generally no marked increase in Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation during these holidays — indeed, over the past several years there has been very little Palestinian-initiated violence at all — but the Israeli 'security measures' are always taken as a 'precaution' during holidays.
The Remembrance Day celebrations will commemorate the 1,634 Israelis who were killed by Palestinian attacks since Israeli was created in 1948. Over 1.5 million Israelis are expected to participate in various commemoration ceremonies.
During the 1948 war of Israel's independence, at least 13,000 Palestinians were killed – although no official numbers were ever released. Since that time, Israeli forces killed more than 29,300 Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon, 15,000 Palestinians and other Arab combatants and civilians during the 1967 war, and in the tw Palestinian uprisings – from 1988 – 1996, and from 2000 – 2006, Israeli forces killed 2,939 Palestinians. Human rights groups have estimated that 80% of those killed were civilians.
The closure will include a ban on travel for all Palestinians – not only outside of the West Bank, but also between towns within the West Bank; a closure of all government functions and offices; a ban on hospital rocedures involving travel; and a ban on those wishing to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The last closure on the West Bank was imposed from Thursday until Saturday this past week, while Israelis commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day.