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UPDATED: 08:32, March 23, 2005
Israel imposes full closure on W. Bank, Gaza over Purim
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Israel is imposing a full closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip starting Wednesday morning to secure Purim festivities, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared Tuesday.

As a result of the closure, which will last until Sunday,Palestinian workers and merchants in the territories will not be able to enter Israel.

In the meantime, Israeli defence ministry had finalized its security plan during the festive period, including reinforcing police patrol at sensitive sites.

Purim, a holiday of costumes and merry-making that celebrates the salvation of the Jews in Persia during the Second Temple period, takes place on Thursday night and Friday and lasts through Sunday in Jerusalem.

Purim celebrations have previously been the targets of Palestinian attacks.

Earlier Tuesday, Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser told the Knesset (parliament) Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Palestinian National Authority security forces are foiling just asmany terror attacks as Israeli forces are since the Egypt's Sharmel-Sheikh summit.

Source: Xinhua

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