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Israel announces Ramadan permit plans for Palestinians

June 27, 2014 11:12 A.M. (Updated: June 28, 2014 9:04 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Thursday announced preliminary plans to facilitate Palestinian movement and visits to Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins Saturday, Israeli media sources reported.

All Palestinians above 60 years old will be allowed to enter Jerusalem for the entire month without special permits, while women of all ages and men above 40 will be allowed to enter on Fridays without any permits, Israeli news site Ynet said.

Women and men below the age of 35 will be given special permits to enter Jerusalem, on the condition that only 20,000 Palestinians will be allowed to pass per day.

Children under 12 will be allowed to enter with their parents without a permit.

Palestinians from the West Bank will be given special permits to be able to visit "first-degree" relatives in Jerusalem, and those under 16 will be allowed to enter without a permit.

Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon, however, has signaled his opposition to the plans given the continued search for three disappeared Israeli youths.

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to a strict permit regime by the state of Israel that limits their freedom of movement and largely prevents them from entering East Jerusalem, which is part of the Palestinian territories.

During Ramadan, however, Israel traditionally eases these restrictions for West Bank residents, allowing them to enter to the city in order to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, as well as to mark the festivities at the month's conclusion.
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