62,000 Palestinians have entered Jerusalem during Ramadan

IDF (Zahal) has been making accomodations for Palestinians for Ramadan

Date: 11/08/2011, 11:48 AM     Author: Dan Tamir, Bamahane Magazine

Since the start of Ramadan (August 1), 62,000 Palestinians have entered Jerusalem.

“This is a large amount that continues to increase from week to week,” said Head of Civilian Affairs Department, Col. Alex Rosentzweig.

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank marked the beginning of the Ramadan month last week, and just like every year, the IDF (Zahal) is easing restrictions on Palestinians, as approved by the chief of staff and the minister of defense, in accordance with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Brig. Gen. Eitan Dangot.

Among the many accommodations, Palestinians can come to pray in Jerusalem and make family visits in Israel.

Additionally, the number of Palestinian merchants allowed to enter Israel has been increased, crossings function for longer hours, and the Cave of Patriarchs is reserved for Muslim prayers on Fridays during the month of Ramadan.

Restrictions are eased in regards to the Gaza Strip as well, with more Palestinian merchants permitted entry into Israel and an increased water supply, based on the needs of the population and agricultural export.

“In spite of IDF (Zahal) operations against the Hamas terror organization in Gaza, it’s important to us to help the uninvolved Palestinian residents,” said Col. Rosentzweig.

Due to the sensitivity of the Palestinian population during this month, the District Coordination Offices representatives instructed all the forces operating in these areas on how to interact with the residents.

“We handed out information packets on Ramadan traditions and events to all combat soldiers and bodies operating in the area to prevent any potential conflict with the population,” said Col. Rosentzweig, “the combat soldiers are instructed to be tolerant and refrain from eating and drinking in front of the fasting Palestinians.”