Israel Blocks Gazans From Temple Mount After Rocket Attack

June 24, 2015  

After the rocket attack from Gaza on Tuesday night, Israel on Wednesday decided to cancel the Friday entry permits for 500 Gazans to Jerusalem that had been given as part of unprecedented “gestures” for the Muslim fast month of Ramadan.

A spokeswoman for COGAT, the defense ministry unit which coordinates with Gaza, told AFP the move to cancel the concessions applied to this week only, and was “because of the rocket” which hit southern Israel on Tuesday night.

The rocket, launched just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, struck open field in the Ashkelon region to the north of Gaza, fortunately causing no damage or wounds.

In response the IDF conducted airstrikes in Gaza, taking out the very rocket launcher that was responsible for the attack.

In the lead up to Ramadan which began last Thursday, Israel for the first time allowed direct buses for Arab residents of Judea and Samaria in to the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism – where between 150,000 to 200,000 Muslim Arabs are expected to visit each Friday of the month.

The concessions also allowed Arab men aged over 40 and all Arab women in Judea-Samaria to have access to the Mount, and 800 Arab residents of Gaza to be allowed in for Friday prayers. It would appear that by cutting permits for 500 Gazans another 300 will still be allowed in.

Another 500 Arabs in Judea-Samaria will be let into Gaza, 300 Palestinian Arabs living abroad will be allowed into Gaza to visit family, and 500 Arab residents of Judea-Samaria will be permitted to fly from Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Before the visit of 500 Gazans to Jerusalem was cancelled on Wednesday, some other “gestures” had been cancelled Sunday after an Arab terrorist from Hevron stabbed a Border Patrol officer at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City, and another terrorist murdered a Jewish man in Samaria last Friday.

Entry permits into Israel for all residents of Sa’ir, the village near Hevron from which the stabber on Sunday came from, were canceled.

Likewise 500 permits to fly abroad through Ben Gurion Airport were also canceled.

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