Closure extended through the weekend

Alert raised to second-highest level in wake of the Jericho raid.

borderpoliceman 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
borderpoliceman 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel on Wednesday extended the closure of Palestinian areas through the weekend, security officials said, citing the threat of revenge attacks in response to Tuesday's successful Jericho operation. Israel imposed the closure, barring Palestinians from entering Israel, last weekend for the current Purim holiday, when schools are closed and streets are crowded with celebrations. Israel had planned to lift the closure on Wednesday but decided to extend it through Saturday due to security concerns, the officials said. After the raid, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) warned "Israel would pay dearly for its actions." The Israel Police raised the public alert level to level three, one level before declaring a state of emergency following Tuesday's successful raid where top Palestinian terrorists were held. Security officials are most concerned about attempted abductions of soldiers or civilians in an attempt to force Israel to release the PFLP terrorists who were apprehend on Tuesday. Large contingents deployed throughout the country, with the emphasis placed on city centers and especially Jerusalem, where Purim festivities are marked on Wednesday.