Israel seals off West Bank ahead of Day of Atonement holiday

Israel Materials 8 October 2008 15:16 (UTC +04:00)

Israel sealed off the West Bank early Wednesday morning ahead of the Day of Atonement holiday, which begins Wednesday at sundown and lasts until Thursday, reported dpa.

The closure would be lifted on Friday morning, according to a security assessment, an Israeli military communique said.

The military also said it would "increase its alertness in order to ensure the safety of the citizens of Israel, while preserving, to the best of its ability, the daily life of the Palestinian population."

Israel comes to an almost total halt during the 25-hour Day of Atonement fast, the holiest day of the Jewish year.