Israel eased up restrictions for West Bank Palestinians and extended the operational hours of some of the crossings in the territories for the month of Ramadan.
A statement issued by the Israeli army Thursday said the new measures will be enforced throughout the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid-al-Fitr holiday ‘as part of Israel’s general policy to improve the quality of life of the Palestinian population in the area.’
During the holiday, Israeli Arabs will be permitted to enter Bethlehem and Jenin, and Palestinians wishing to visit relatives in Israel will receive a week-long permit, the army said.
Soldiers manning the main cross points in the West Bank were requested to refrain from smoking, eating and drinking in public as much as possible in front of the fasting Palestinian population.
The army said men over the age of 50 and women over the age of 45 will be allowed to pray at the Temple Mount. The army also said the Allenby Bridge international border crossing will operate 16 hours a day to facilitate the flow of people and goods to and from Jordan.
(Al-Arabiya.net English and Agencies)