Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi / Flash90
Israeli border police officers check Palestinian women who are waiting to cross the Qalandia checkpoint on the outskirts of Ramallah, as they head to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to attend the first Friday prayers of Ramadan (2012).

Does the IDF tell solders not to eat in front of observant troops on Yom Kippur? Not a chance. That’s religious coercion. But they are told not to eat or drink when Muslims are nearby during Ramadan.

The IDF has instructed soldiers “to show considerable consideration” for Palestinian Authority Arabs during the Muslim month of Ramadan by not eating, drinking or smoking in their presence.


Ramadan begins this Wednesday, and religious Muslims observe it by fasting from sunrise to sunset during most of the month.

Soldiers were particularly admonished to be respectful of Muslims at crossings through the security fence in Judea and Samaria.

In addition, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered a lifting of restrictions on PA Arabs “to improve their fabric of life.” An announcement of the easing of measures was sent to the Palestinian Authority hierarchy and to the international community. If God forbid there are any terrorist attacks against Jews during Ramadan because of the easing of security, these “goodwill” measures” supposedly will convince everyone else that Israel does not deserve them.

Among the lifting of restrictions, coordinated with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, all PA Arabs form age 60 and over will be allowed to cross from Judea and Samaria into the rest of Israel without permits.

All women, as well as all men age 40 and over, will be allowed during Ramadan to enter the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount on Friday without permits. They also may bring with them all of their children up to the age of 12, but youth from ages 12-16 also can enter freely “depending on the situation.”

As many as 20,000 Arabs will be allowed on the Temple Mount during the week during the month of Ramadan.

Up to 500 Arabs from Jordan will be allowed into Judea and Samaria, and the Allenby Bridge from Jordan will be open 24 hours a day.


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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.