Israeli forces have barred all Palestinians from entering Israel as the regime steps up such restrictions following a deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said on Friday that the ban would remain in force until midnight Sunday.
In accordance with the “directives and the ongoing situation assessment, as of today crossing from the Gaza Strip and Judaea and Samaria (the West Bank) will be open to Palestinians only in medical and humanitarian cases,” the spokeswoman said.
The shooting attack took place at an open-air complex in Tel Aviv, leaving four Israelis dead and 16 others injured on Wednesday.
Initial reports said the attackers were dressed as “ultra-Orthodox” Israelis, but Tel Aviv said later they were of the Palestinian origin.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a slew of punitive measures against Palestinians in the wake of the shooting in Tel Aviv.
Israel’s measures include thousands of frozen permits to visit al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.
The restrictions will deny entry to 83,000 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and some 200 residents of the Gaza Strip into Israel.
The move has sparked outrage among Palestinians, who believe they have a duty to visit the al-Aqsa mosque and protect it from settler attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.
Protests are expected to be organized against Israel’s decision at the Qalandiya checkpoint.
Israel is also set to deploy two additional battalions of troops to the occupied West Bank following the shooting. The authorities in Tel Aviv have declined to provide details on the exact number of troops. However, battalions are usually made up of several hundred troopers.
Meanwhile, the Israeli regime forces are preventing Palestinians from leaving and entering the West Bank village of Yatta, which the regime’s police say is home to the attackers behind the Tel Aviv shooting.
Israel’s newly-appointed Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman has ordered that the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces no longer be returned to their families for burial.
Israeli police on alert on first Friday of Ramadan
In another development, Israel has deployed thousands of police forces near the al-Aqsa Mosque in Old City al-Quds (Jerusalem) and elsewhere on the first Friday prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
Sources say the Israeli police reinforcements will be in force each Friday of Ramadan, June 10, 17, 24 and July 1. The regime fears mass anti-Tel Aviv protests after Friday prayers.
Tensions have been running high in the occupied West Bank since last October.
The uprising came after the Israeli regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinians into the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds (Jerusalem) in August last year.
Since then, at least 213 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising).