Is­rael can­cels Jerusalem en­try for 500 Gazans

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Is­rael said Wed­nes­day it was re­vok­ing per­mits for 500 Pales­tini­ans from the Gaza Strip to en­ter Jerusalem ahead of Fri­day prayers be­cause of rocket fire from the Pales­tinian en­clave.

A spokes­woman for COGAT, the de­fense min­istry unit which co­or­di­nates with Gaza, told AFP the move to can­cel part of its mea­sures eas­ing re­stric­tions on Pales­tini­ans dur­ing the Mus­lim holy month of Ramadan ap­plied to this week only and was “be­cause of the rocket” which hit south­ern Is­rael on Tues­day night, caus­ing no in­juries.

Is­rael had re­laxed re­stric­tions on the move­ment of Pales­tini­ans to and from the West Bank and Gaza Strip ahead of Ramadan which be­gan last week, in­clud­ing let­ting up to 800 Ga- zans en­ter Jerusalem for prayers at Al- Aqsa mosque, Is­lam’s third- holi­est site, each Fri­day of the month.

The de­fense min­istry had said the mea­sures were con­di­tional on a con­tin­ued lull in vi­o­lence, which was bro­ken late Fri­day with the killing of an Is­raeli hiker in the West Bank and the stab­bing of a po­lice­man in east Jerusalem on Sun­day.

Is­rael had on Sun­day re­voked en­try per­mits for res­i­dents of the West Bank vil­lage home to the Pales­tinian who had stabbed the po­lice­man.

It also can­celled per­mis­sion for 500 West Bank Pales­tini­ans to fly via Is­rael’s Ben Gu­rion air­port.

Is­raeli air­craft had struck in Gaza fol­low­ing Tues­day’s rocket at­tack, with Pales­tinian se­cu­rity sources say­ing the raid hit farm­land in north­ern Gaza, caus­ing no in­juries or dam­age.

It was the fifth such in­ci­dent in just un­der a month, and was claimed — like all re­cent in­ci­dents of fir­ing on south­ern Is­rael — by a rad­i­cal Is­lamist or­ga­ni­za­tion loosely al­lied with the Is­lamic State group.

Is­rael says it holds Ha­mas, the Is­lamist move­ment which de facto rules the Gaza Strip, re­spon­si­ble for any fire from its ter­ri­tory.

The last rocket to hit Is­rael was on June 6 and was fol­lowed within hours by an Is­raeli air strike into the coastal strip.

Is­rael went to war against Ha­mas last sum­mer with the aim of stamp­ing out cross- bor­der rocket and mor­tar at­tacks.

The 50- day con­flict killed about 2,200 Pales­tini­ans, most of them civil­ians, and 73 on the Is­raeli side, most of them sol­diers.

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