Israeli authorities Tuesday cancelled weekly permits allowing elderly Gazans to travel to occupied East Jerusalem on Fridays to attend prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
An official at the Palestinian liaison office told Ma’an that Israeli authorities decided to cancel the weekly visits of Palestinians in Gaza to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque due to Palestinian worshipers not returning directly back to the Gaza Strip after prayers, in violation of the permit conditions.
However, the official added that Israel would continue to permit 100 Palestinians who are UNRWA employees, the UN agency responsible for providing services to some five million Palestinian refugees, to travel to Al-Aqsa for prayers.
Since several months ago, Israeli authorities have allowed 250 Palestinians to leave Gaza for prayers at Al-Aqsa, including UNRWA employees and 150 additional worshipers whose permits are arranged by Gaza’s Civil Affairs Committee.
As Yisrael Medad shows, the “not returning directly” means “not returning at all.” Gazans were taking advantage of the ability to pray in Jerusalem to illegally immigrate to Israel.
And for those who will inevitably claim that this is merely an excuse for Israel to make the lives of Gazans miserable, then how can you explain that last week, Israel allowed a brand new Coca Cola factory to open in Gaza?
And four tons of strawberries were exported from Gaza to Europe last week as well.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.