JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Friday banned all Palestinians from entering Israel during the coming Purim holiday, security officials said.
The order was in response to concern that Palestinian militants would try to carry out attacks during the holiday, when schools are closed and many families are outside celebrating, the officials said. During Purim, children dress up in costumes, march in street carnivals and attend parties.
The closure will go into effect on Saturday night and run through Wednesday.
Israel routinely imposes closures during Jewish holidays. Thousands of Palestinians enter Israel each day to reach jobs, hospitals and commercial services.