The IDF has just sent out an announcement that it has started enforcing a total closure of what it called “Yehuda/Shomron”, until the end of Yom Kippur (which starts tomorrow, Sunday, at sunset, and which ends 25 hours later, on Monday evening just after sunset).
IT is not clear exactly what “Yehuda/Shomron” is — though it seems to mean more or less the same thing as “Judea and Samaria”, which was the terminology used last year, and it seems be more or less the same thing as what the rest of the world knows as the occupied West Bank. [Perhaps “Yehuda/Shomron” are the Hebrew-language words for Judea and Samaria?] As we reported here , the terms “Judea and Samaria” were used as recently as this past spring.
The announcement, received by SMS, informs us of the following: “IDF now enforcing general closure on Yehuda/Shomron from now until the end of Yom Kippur”.
Meanwhile, YNet reported on Sunday that “Vehicles will not be allowed to pass from east Jerusalem to the western part of the city in order to minimize the friction between Jews and Arabs“. Given that there are so many Israeli and Jewish “neighborhoods” are now in East Jerusalem, it might be hard to enforce this measure. However, a distinctive feature of the Yom Kippur holiday is the extent of the shut-down in Israel, with the airport closed, and traffic completely banned in many areas. Last year, it was possible to drive from the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem to the Dahiet al-Bariid neighborhood, past Psgaat Ze’ev and Neve Yaacov, but Israeli police cars barred the entrance to both places.
The YNet report added that “The defense establishment has declared a heightened state of alert across the country ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. On Saturday evening, a closure was imposed on the West Bank until Monday at midnight. Residents will only be allowed to cross into Israel in humanitarian cases. The defense establishment will focus its Yom Kippur Eve activity around cemeteries, while on Yom Kippur itself forces will be deployed around synagogues”. This report can be read in full here.