Israel blockades Palestinian lands ahead of holiest day of Jewish calendar; Israeli security forces on high alert
Israeli security forces are on high alert for possible attacks during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, which begins Sunday afternoon, Army Radio reported. According to the warnings, Palestinians will try to infiltrate into Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army detained Saturday a Palestinian man in the northern West Bank, saying he was preparing a suicide attack to coincide with Yom Kippur.
The capture, near Jenin, came as the army prepared to lock down the West Bank and Gaza Strip ahead of the holiday.
The Palestinian was nabbed Saturday morning in the village of Bir al-Bash, the army said. Jenin was later invaded by an Israeli armored column, Palestinian security sources said, according to AFP.
A Palestinian man was wounded by Israeli fire, the sources added. In addition, the army arrested in Ramallah a wanted member of Hamas.
Separately, Israeli soldiers were carrying out a house-to-house search in the village of Shuwad, south of Jenin, in search of another member of Hamas, the Palestinian sources said.
And in the village of Anza, which is also located near Jenin, the army said it found and destroyed a workshop for manufacturing explosives.
Earlier Saturday, the Israeli army took over the municipality and five other buildings in the town of Yatta, some eight kilometres south of Hebron, witnesses said.
Israeli sources confirmed the operation, saying the army was searching for "troublemakers" in the run-up to Yom Kippur. "Troops have gone into Yatta to search for militants and troublemakers before the holiday in order to ensure there are no clashes," an army official told AFP.
Israeli troops were also deployed in force in central Hebron Saturday, using tear-gas to clear people from the streets, witnesses said.
On Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, most Jews observe a complete fast for 24 hours.
In the southern Gaza Strip, meanwhile, the Israeli army carried out an incursion in Rafah, on the border with Egypt, bulldozing some farm land and arresting the owner of the property and his son, Palestinian security sources said.
The army said Israeli positions were hit by a mortar near the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in the central Gaza Strip.
An army statement said the blockade of the Palestinian territories for Yom Kippur would begin at 6:00 am (0300 GMT) on Sunday and continue until 2:00 am on Tuesday (2300 GMT Monday).
At the same time, the Erez, Karni and Sufa crossing points between the Gaza Strip and Israel will be closed. (Albawaba.com)