Tensions high in West Bank
Israel has announced it is sealing off the West Bank for 36 hours from noon on Tuesday 23rd Sep, following outbreaks of violence across the West Bank, sparked by 3 days of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem.
Hundreds of Israeli police were deployed to the old city after the incidents last week, when Palestinians protested at Israel barring any Muslim men over the age of 40 from attending worship.
Separate incidents have also occurred between Palestinians, Israeli settlers and IDF soldiers in Hebron, Nablus and several Palestinian refugee camps across the West Bank. On Monday approximately 2,200 Jewish settlers forced their way into Joseph’s Tomb, a shrine in Nablus, backed by Israeli soldiers. The site is venerated by both Muslims and Jews.
Several Palestinians have lost their lives in these violent incidents, including a teenage girl who was shot by a soldier after allegedly trying to stab him. There have also been over 25 arrests in the last 24 hours in the West Bank
Internal tensions are also running high as Palestinian Authority police officers were caught on camera beating a Palestinian protester near Azza refugee camp in Bethlehem.
Israeli officials stated that closure in the West Bank would be enforced from noon on Tuesday until midnight on Wednesday, and that border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip would be closed during the same period.