Jewish state announces easing of security restrictions during Ramadan as a goodwill gesture
Israel reportedly will also allow a limited number of Muslims from the Gaza Strip to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan
Israel has announced the easing of security restrictions during the upcoming Muslim month of Ramadan as an apparent goodwill gesture towards Muslim visitors from the West Bank who wish to attend Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), an Israeli state organization responsible for affairs in the West Bank, seeks to lower tensions by making it easier for West Bank Muslims to visit Jerusalem’s mosques during Ramadan, a period often accompanied with an increase of terrorism against Israel.
Maj.-Gen. Ghassan Allian, a Druze-Israeli IDF officer who heads COGAT, said the purpose of the lightened security restrictions was to permit “freedom of religious worship for the Palestinian public.”
“The entry of women will be allowed at all ages and the entry of children up to the age of 12 will be allowed without the need for an existing permit. Entry for men aged 55 and over without an existing permit and for men aged 45 and over will be subject to an existing permit. All permits are conditional on receiving a security clearance,” stated COGAT.
“We emphasize that all permits will be issued subject to security approval,” COGAT added.
Israel will also reportedly allow a limited number of Muslims from the Gaza Strip to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.
The Israeli announcement of eased security restrictions comes shortly after Egypt hosted a summit for Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials to discuss efforts to reduce regional tensions and violence ahead of the Muslim Ramadan and Jewish Passover holidays.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.