Israel to ease restrictions before Ramadan

Israel to allow Palestinians in occupied territories under certain conditions before start of holy month of Ramadan

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Israel has announced it will relax restrictions on Palestinians from West Bank to Gaza Strip, ahead of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, AFP has reported.

A spokesperson from the Defence Ministry unit of Israel which manages civilian affairs in the West Bank has said Palestinians will be able to travel by bus directly from West Bank cities to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

However, only men aged over 40 and women will be able to pray at the holy site - which has been occupied by Israel since 1967 - and only 800 people will be allowed to attend Friday prayers.

During Ramadan only 200 residents of Gaza will be able to visit their relatives in the West Bank and only 500 people from the West Bank will be permitted to enter Gaza.

The bus shuttles will be coordinated by Israeli security forces.

Despite displacement and disposition, Palestinians continue to resist what is internationally considered to be Israel’s institutional and systematic illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. 

A transnational solidarity movement to end the Israeli occupation has gained international momentum under the banner of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. 

Support for the rights of the Palestinians has also slowly begun to shift to the policy-making sphere in several European countries. 

The Palestinian people have been subject to what is widely considered to be an illegal military occupation for 48 years, gradually losing more and more land as a direct consequence of Israeli colonisation.

In October 2014, 135 of the 193 member states of the United Nations recognised the State of Palestine. While the United States and Israel have both been crucial actors in the peace process since its inception in 1992, they both have consistently voted against all motions at the UN in support of an independent Palestinian state.

TRTWorld and agencies