Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon has held consultations with senior security officials intended to suspend the usual easing of security procedures Israel grants Palestinians during the month-long Ramadan holiday. Ramadan begins on Saturday, June 28th.
“We cannot allow a situation where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians come to Israeli beaches on Ramadan and celebrate while all of Israel is worried about the fate of the three abducted teenagers,” said the Deputy Defense Minister. “If the terrorists are sheltered amongst the Palestinian population, then we cannot continue with business as usual.” Danon continued.
Some of the restrictions usually lifted include entry into Israel for Palestinians over 60, entry into Israel for hundreds of thousands of family visits, and large number of permits to enter the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Other restrictions eased annually include:
· Free entry into Israel for all Palestinians over 60 with no need for special permits (men and women)
· Permits to visit family members of the first and second degree (accompanied by minors under 16) – this results in hundreds of thousands of Palestinians entering Israel during the holiday
· Free entry for all women and for men over the age of 40 to participate in Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque. Permits for men between the ages of 35-40 permits are given as appropriate
· Free entry to all men and women over 35 for weekday prayers at al-Aqsa (up to 20,000 on each day) throughout Ramadan
· Expanded entrance permits from abroad into Yehuda and Shomron throughout the holiday
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)