West Bank soldiers told to respect Ramadan

IDF prepare for holy month of Ramadan, ease travel restrictions on Palestinian population of West Bank.

Ramadan in Jordan 521 (photo credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)
Ramadan in Jordan 521
(photo credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)
In preparation for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins Tuesday, the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) are to ease certain travel restrictions on the Palestinian population of the West Bank.
In a statement to the press released on Sunday, the IDF Spokesman stated that Palestinian men and women from the age of 35 will be able to pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, opening up to compound to a potential 20,000 Muslim residents during Ramadan.
For the holiday of Id el-Fitr that follows Ramadan, the IDF are to allow Palestinian women of all ages and men over the age of 40 to enter Israel for Friday prayers without a permit.
All Palestinians over the age of 65 will be able to enter into Israel, according to the IDF.
The IDF extended until midnight the operating hours of both the Jalama and Rehan crossings to Jenin, the Beit Mishpat crossing to Ramallah and the Rachel crossing to Bethlehem.
On Sunday, the Allenby crossing will be open 24-hours in order to allow Palestinians to move from the West Bank to Jordan.
IDF soldiers in the West Bank have been asked to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public, particularly at the security crossings, during the Muslim festival of Ramadan.
Soldiers have been asked to “demonstrate a high level of respect and understanding,” the IDF said.
In advance of the holy month, Civil Administration representatives met with Palestinian authorities and discussed prayer times and upcoming religious events, updating officials on concessions and gestures being made for the holy festival, in addition to informing the population of the accommodations being made through the distribution of information sheets.