Photo Credit: Dr. Avishai Teicher via Wikimedia
Park Hotel in Netenya was blown up by a suicide bomber during the Passover seder

Israel imposed an 11-day closure on the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot starting midnight Tuesday through midnight Saturday, October 14, the IDF announced on Monday.

The closure means Arab residents of these areas, prone to launch terror attacks against their Jewish neighbors on their holidays, will be prohibited from entering Israel for work or other reasons other than for emergency medical treatment, pending permission from the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

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The IDF regularly seals off Gaza and the PA during Jewish holidays.

On March 27, 2002, during the Passover seder for 250 guests at the Park Hotel in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya, an Arab suicide bomber disguised carried a suitcase with powerful explosives into the hotel, managing to pass by the security guard at the entrance. He walked through the lobby past the reception desk and entered the hotel’s crowded dining room. At 7:30 PM, he detonated the explosives and the force of the explosion instantly killed 28 civilians and injured about 140 people, 20 of whom were severely injured. Two of the injured later died from their wounds. Some of the victims were Holocaust survivors. Most of the victims were senior citizens (70 and over). The oldest victim was 90 and the youngest 20. A number of married couples were killed, as well as a father and his daughter. One of the victims was a Jewish tourist from Sweden.

If anyone asks, this is why Israel closes off the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority for the duration of Jewish holidays: to commemorate the Park Hotel massacre.

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