(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)
22 February 2002
In consideration of the approaching Muslim holiday, Id al-Adha, and in order to ease condition for the general Palestinian population not involved in terrorism, Defense Minister Ben Eliezer confirmed announced the following measures:
1. Muslims will be allowed to travel from Judea and Samaria to Jerusalem in order to attend prayers on the Temple Mount.
2. Inmates nearing the end of their prison terms, as well as detainees being held for illegally staying in Israel, will be released.
3. The hours of the Rafah terminal on the Egyptian border will be extended to accommodate the pilgrims returning from the Haj, and the hours at the Karni crossing and at the "back-to-back" trucking terminals in Judea and Samaria will also be extended.
4. Travel for the purpose of family visits will be allowed between Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and family members from abroad and from Israel will be allowed to visit their relatives in the territories.
5. Measures will be implemented to ease travel restrictions in order to facilitate commerce, particularly for Gaza businessmen wishing to travel to Israel, Judea and Samaria, and abroad.
The Defense Minister expressed the hope that the security coordination meeting that was held Thursday night, together with the easing of measures that was decided upon, will be a positive impetus in the attempts to calm the situation and put an end to violence.