After a quiet Yom Yerushalayim, b’chasdei Shamayim, security officials have high hopes that the Ramadan period will pass quietly as well. The month-long Muslim festival, which has been in the past characterized by increased levels of terror and violence, begins Monday. In order to encourage a positive atmosphere, General Yoav Mordechai, Commander of the IDF forces in Yehudah and Shomron, announced a series of security gestures for the period, including easing the requirements for family visits between Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron, and Israel.
In addition, the government plans to allow full access to the Temple Mount for Muslims to hold religious events, depending on the security situation. Residents of Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron as well as of Gaza will be allowed to enter Yerushalayim for the occasion. Gaza residents will also be allowed to visit family in Israel.
“We expect heavy traffic at the checkpoints and our forces have been ordered to do whatever possible to prevent incidents,” a top security official was quoted by Channel Two as saying. “We are also in discussions with security forces in the settlements to ensure that they remain safe and the situation remains calm.
“We are entering this period on a positive note, as terror in recent months has calmed down considerably,” the source said. “We are stressing that forces remain on alert and ready for anything.”