Palestinians shopping during Ramadan 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As long as the three teens kidnapped earlier this month are not released, Israel should not ease restrictions on Palestinians' movement during the month-long Ramadan holiday, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said Thursday.
"If terrorists find refuge among Palestinians, then Palestinians will pay the price," Danon stated.
Ramadan begins on Saturday, and Danon spoke to senior security officials to try to change the situation before the Muslim holiday.
"We won't allow the usual sight during Ramadan of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians on Israeli beaches having barbecues and celebrating while all of Israel is worried about the kidnapped boys," Danon said.
Last year, the Palestinians received the following benefits for Ramadan, which Danon thinks should be canceled: Men and women over 60 could enter Israel without a permit, hundreds of thousands of close relatives of Israeli Arabs could enter the country and up to 500 visitors from abroad can come in to Israel through the Allenby Crossing on the Id El-Fitr holiday.
Several of the changes are related to the Temple Mount: all women and men over 40 can ascend the Mount freely on Fridays, while men aged 35-40 need permits. Every day of Ramadan, 20,000 men and women over 35 will be allowed at the site.