Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman green-lighted a series of steps to ease conditions for Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ahead of Ramadan.
The holiday is expected to being at sundown on Sunday.
According to a statement released on Friday by the coordinator of government activities in the territories (COGAT), Maj.- Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the measures are in line with “Israeli civil policy striving to improve the quality of life for Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, including maintaining freedom of religion.”
Palestinians in the West Bank will be able to coordinate visits with relatives in Israel during Ramadan, as well entry to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for Friday prayers. They will also be able to travel overseas through Ben-Gurion Airport, and to visit the Gaza Strip to spend time with immediate relatives.
“[Border] crossings will be open for prayers, as the activity hours of the crossings will be prolonged,” a COGAT spokeswoman said.
COGAT will enable Gazans to visit relatives in Israel and the West Bank. They will be authorized to pray at the Temple Mount, and attend a number of Ramadan religious events, the statement said.
Gazans living abroad will be able to visit their families in the Strip.
Mordechai “has updated officials of the Palestinian Authority and the international community on these steps for the holiday,” the statement added.
All of the steps were first recommended by the IDF chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.