The Israeli army said that it was temporarily barring all Palestinians from entering the country, following an incident in Tel Aviv where Palestinian gunmen shot dead four Israelis, Agence France-Presse reported.
The move comes after Thursday’s announcement that the Israeli government is revoking entry permits for more than 80,000 Palestinians during the holy month of Ramadan.
An Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP, “In accordance with government 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 closure will remain in place till Sunday midnight, she added.
Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet Thursday and announced a number of punitive and deterrent measures against Palestinians. Two additional battalions comprising hundreds of troops will also be sent into the occupied West Bank. Reports described the attack as one of the deadliest in a months-long wave of violence in the region.
According to a spokesman, newly appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the bodies of the Palestinians killed while carrying out the attack will not be returned to their families for burial. These measures are backed by Israeli hawks.
On Wednesday, two men opened fire at the crowded Sarona Market Complex. The gunmen killed four and wounded several others. Authorities said that they were from the Palestinian village of Yatta, located near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.