Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the army to seal off the West Bank for 48 hours until midnight on Saturday, an army spokesman said.
The action was taken "for security reasons" including a risk of attacks, the spokesman said Friday. The area was sealed off at midnight on Thursday.
Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000, Israel has usually sealed off the West Bank ahead of major holidays, saying the move is necessary to prevent attacks.
This was the first time such a measure was taken outside of a major Jewish occasion.