Israeli settlers storm into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wedsneday morning, March 23.

Jewish holiday: strict movement restrictions on Palestinians

PNN/Jerusalem

Since Tuesday, Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are facing strict movement restrictions and are being ban from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound due to the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the general director of the Jerusalem endowment, said to the local press that Israel had banned all Palestinian men under the age of 50 from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

On the other hand, extremist right-wing Israeli groups visited the Compound on Wednesday morning, and called for visits to the site during Purim wearing masks traditionally associated with the holiday.

On Tuesday, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) closed Al-Aqsa Mosque after preventing 17 Palestinians from entering the Compound and detaining them.

On Wednesday morning, Palestinians faced strict movement restrictions, as the IOF closed all checkpoints in and out of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

An IOF spokesperson said that beginning at 1 a.m. on Wednesday and lasting until midnight Saturday, the checkpoints would be closed to all Palestinians with the exception of humanitarian cases.

Israeli police spokesperson, Luba Samri, said there would be heightened security measures, including a number of Israeli police patrols, across occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank throughout the Jewish holiday.

This year, Purim, which commemorates the Biblical account of the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, an ancient Persian vizier, begins Wednesday evening and ends late Thursday.