Today, November 16th 2010, marks the beginning of the Eid Al-Adcha holiday (“Festival of Sacrifice”), celebrated by Muslim Palestinians throughout the Judea and Samaria region.
In accordance with the directives of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and given the security assessments by the IDF Central Command and the Civil Administration, travel and access restrictions will be eased during the holiday for the Palestinian population. These measures are part of a general policy to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian population in the region.
The following steps will be implemented as of today (Tuesday) and apply through Thursday, November 18th, 2010:
1. Operating hours of the “Beit Ha-Mishpat” crossing will be extended. The crossing will be open until 22:00 for permit holders, and will be open for everyone between 22:00 and 06:00.
2. Operating hours of the “Reihan ” and “Jalame” crossings will be extended to 24:00.
3. The “Khirbet Jabara” and the “104” crossings, leading to the Judea and Samaria region will be opened during the holiday.
4. The “Musa Alami” crossing, leading to Jericho, will be opened for tourists during the holiday and after it.
5. Twenty four road blocks will be removed throughout the Judea and Samaria region.
In accordance with the Minister of Defense’s directive, the entrance of Palestinians to the Temple Mount for the next month of Friday prayers will be permitted according to the following criterion;
1. Men over the age of 50 and women over the age of 45 will be able to enter without special authorization.
2. Married men between the ages of 45-50 and married women in the ages of 30-45 will be able to enter with special authorizations.
3. The entrance of Palestinians to Israel to visit close relatives was authorized based on specific criterion.
During the course of the holiday, the IDF will reduce its activity in the central cities and Palestinian police activity will be expanded in specific areas.
Officers of the Civil Administration held meetings with representatives of the Palestinian Waqf and were updated with the schedule of the expected religious events and prayers. In addition, forces operating in the region were briefed about the times and customs of the holiday and explanation leaflets were distributed to all soldiers.