In anticipation of the upcoming Ramadan period, celebrated by Palestinian Muslims, which begins today, August 1, 2011, the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), will ease restrictions in line with the directives of IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and with policies intended on improving the way of life for Palestinians in the Judea and Samaria region. Following situation assessments, Israeli Defense Minister, Mr. Ehud Barak, implemented these following measures throughout the Ramadan period:
- Visitor permits for Palestinians who have relatives in Israel.
- 200 Palestinians will be able to travel abroad via Ben Gurion Airport.
- The operational hours of the Beit Mishpat crossing to Ramallah will be extended until 24:00 daily.
- Israeli Arabs will be able to use the crossings in the northern Jordan Valley- Gav Ha Har.
- Trucks carrying supplies will be able to travel freely between the Judea and Samaria Region and the Jordan Valley.
- Gate 107, leading to Qalqilya, will be open daily for the departure of Israeli Arabs who have visited their families in Israel.
- 2,000 Palestinians will be able to pray at Temple Mount during weekdays for the duration of the Ramadan period.
- 1,000 additional merchants (over the age of 28, and married with children) will be permitted entry into Israel.
Palestinian residents of the Judea and Samaria Region will be given authorized entry into the Temple Mount for Friday night and Laylat al-Qadr prayers as follows: Men age 50 and over and women age 45 and over will be able to enter the Temple Mount for prayer without any restrictions. Men married with children over the age of 45 and women married with children over the age of 30 will be given authorized entry into the Temple Mount after receiving the appropriate permits.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot met with representatives of the Palestinian Authority and updated them regarding the gestures and easing of restrictions for the Ramadan Period. Moreover, Civil Administration representatives informed the Palestinian population of the easing of restrictions, and briefed all of the forces operating in the area on holiday times and traditions as well as distributing educational pamphlets on the topic. IDF soldiers have been given orders to show special consideration toward the Palestinian residents of the Judea and Samaria region and, wherever possible, to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public, more so at the various crossings so as to demonstrate a high level of respect and understanding.