Israel imposes nine-day blockade on West Bank
Israel imposes a 9-day full blockade of the occupied West Bank starting Sunday night, ostensibly as a security measure for the Jewish Passover festival.
The lockdown, on the orders of the Israeli War Minister Ehud Barak, will prevent thousands of Palestinian workers based in the West Bank from reaching their places of work.
The closure will be lifted only after another security assessment following the Passover holiday, the Israeli army said in a statement on Sunday.
The Passover festival will last from sunset of March 29 until April 6.
The only persons allowed in (from the West Bank) will be Christians to celebrate Easter in Israel, the statement said.
It further stated that some 1,000 church workers, 550 teachers and students, 150 Waqf employees and 100 religious workers will also be allowed to enter East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Meanwhile, demonstrators, including Muslims, Christians, as well as international activists, protesting against the Easter blockade on the West Bank occupied territories, were driven back in attacks by Israeli forces at a checkpoint on the route from Beit Lahm (Bethlehem) to Jerusalem al-Quds.