Israeli military halts movement of Palestinians following Hebron attacks
Published 02/07/2016 | 02:30
Israel's military has announced it is curtailing the movement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in response to two deadly Palestinian attacks against civilians in just over 24 hours.
An Israeli rabbi was shot dead in front of his children and his wife was badly injured yesterday, while an Israeli schoolgirl was stabbed to death in her bedroom on Thursday.
Both attacks took place near the Palestinian city of Hebron, and Israel's military said it was responding by stopping Palestinians from moving throughout the surrounding area.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) could not say how many Palestinians would be affected, but the measures are likely to impact the free movement of more than 300,000 people.
"We have to stop these terrorist activities. They have to be foiled before they reach civilians," said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner. "This isn't a normal situation and that's why we're taking these substantial steps."
Israel said it was sending two additional infantry battalions into the Hebron area to enforce a new network of checkpoints. It will be the biggest operation it has carried out in the West Bank since 2014.
It is not clear how long the closures will go on for.
Hebron has been a flashpoint throughout the wave of violence that began in October and the IDF said around 80 attacks had been carried out in the area.