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Israel revokes eased Ramadan security measure following attacks

The permits were part of a set of policies aimed at easing life for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

Published: Updated:

Israel cancelled on Monday 500 permits that would have allowed Palestinians to travel overseas, a measure taken in response to two attacks targeting an Israeli settler and a police officer over the past week, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.

The permits were part of a set of policies aimed at easing life for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as they observe the holy month of Ramadan.

“Other steps will be considered later,” a statement from Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s office said.

Restrictions were eased to allow Palestinian men over the age of 40 and women of any age – provided that they are West Bank residents – to attend Friday prayers in Al Aqsa Mosque, which lies in eastern Jerusalem, a part of the city annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) – who authorized the permits – called the measures a “very significant easing of the rules.”

The permits to travel abroad seem to be the only policy that has been rescinded since the attacks, the Haaretz reported.

A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli paramilitary policeman at the entrance to the walled old city of Jerusalem on Sunday and was then shot by the policeman, police said.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said both men were seriously wounded. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the border policeman had been stabbed in the neck.

Violence in Jerusalem has risen in the past year, after a Palestinian teen was burnt alive by Israeli assailants in an alleged revenge attack over the killing of three Israeli youths in the West Bank by two Palestinians.

On Friday, two Israeli hikers were shot by a suspected Palestinian assailant near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, killing one man and wounding the other. The attacker escaped.

[With Reuters]