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Israel to allow Gazans to pray at Al-Aqsa Friday, following a 1-week ban

June 16, 2016 12:02 P.M. (Updated: June 16, 2016 1:17 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities are set to allow Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, official Palestinian sources told Ma’an, after visitations were banned for Gazans following a deadly gun attack in Tel Aviv last week.

Sources added that hundreds of worshipers above the age of 50 from the besieged Gaza Strip are expected to travel to Al-Aqsa on the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In response to the attack in Tel Aviv that left four Israelis dead and at least a dozen wounded, Israeli authorities suspended all coordination with the besieged enclave for Ramadan, including cancelling weekly visits to Al-Aqsa by elderly Palestinians, that had been implemented as part of a ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Following the ceasefire, the visits have been interrupted on a number of occasions for alleged security reasons and Jewish holidays.

Israel lifted a one-month ban in March due to allegations that Palestinians traveling for worship were not returning to the Gaza Strip on the same day of the visit, as the agreement stipulated, posing a “threat to security.”

The majority of the more than 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a near-decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.
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