I wish #Ramadan Kareem to Israel's Muslim citizens and Muslims around the world, hoping for much needed brotherhood, mutual respect & peace.— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) May 27, 2017
أهنئ مواطني إسرائيل المسلمين والمسلمين عموما بمناسبة حلول شهر #رمضان آملا بتحقيق الأخوة والاحترام المتبادل والسلام. كل عام وأنتم بخير.— بنيامين نتنياهو (@Israelipm_ar) May 27, 2017
Netanyahu regularly releases statements of well-wishes to mark the major holidays of the world's three main monotheistic religions. According to the Foreign Ministry, Israel's Muslim citizens numbered nearly 1.5 million people - or 16.9% of the country's population - as of summer 2016. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim (lunar) calendar, when the Quran was first revealed to Mohammad, according to Islamic doctrine. Muslims around the world typically mark Ramadan with fasting, prayers, and other observances, although the holy month can begin on different days in different countries. Last week, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai announced a series of expanded civil procedures for the month of Ramadan for Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The eased restrictions for entrance to Israel were due to include expanded border crossing operations and updated permit requirements for Muslim worshipers visiting the Temple Mount. According to COGAT, Israel was due to issue up to 200,000 permits for those visiting the country on the occasion of Ramadan. Meanwhile, permits will not be required for male Muslim worshipers over the age of 40 along with women of all ages and children under 12. Permits for men between the age of 30 to 40 were said to be available. Reuters contributed to this report.