Respect Your Fasting Enemy

Palestinian children will be allowed to play with toy guns and fireworks in Eid Fitri.

Israeli checkpoint.

Ramadan is likely can change Israeli repressive policies against Palestinians. In this fasting month, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) issued an order that prohibits their soldiers to eat, drink, and smoke in public.

If no Palestinians at the checkpoints, Israeli troops are allowed to eat, drink, or smoke. “This rule to show a high stage of respect and understand,” say an anonymous IDF spokesperson.

The decision resulted from the meeting between Israeli Defense Minster Ehud Barak and IDF commander General Gabi Ashkenazi. A side of those three bans, the Zionist soldiers should ease restrictions for Palestinian activities.

But wait a minute. All those easiness are applied in West Bank, a region dominated by Fatah faction led by President of Palestinian Authority Mahmud Rida Abbas. Fatah has agreed to cooperate with Israel.

In contrast, the situation in Gaza Strip is unchanged. Israel still imposes the blockade. The Jewish state has refused international community pressure to light the restrictions and allow Ramadan necessities to be brought into the Strip. Therefore, about 1.5 million populations live apprehensively. Even there are supplies smuggled through the tunnels from Egypt, their prices are over expensive.

The new order can change if there is an incident. “It depends on the ground situation. If there is a clash, security measures can be tight,” say Abdul Aziz Dweik, chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), to Tempo by phone yesterday. He was released two months ago after detained for three years.

At the present time, there are around 650 checkpoints in West Bank. They have caused Palestinians must face daily security checking for five hours, even to go to a place that actually can be reached in an hour. AS happened to Fadwa Barghuti who every Tuesday in two weeks visits his husband Marwan Barghuti in Hadarim prison, near Tel Aviv. Barghuti, the leader of intifadah, has served five life times imprisonment because Israel doesn’t recognize death penalty.

Palestinians movements have become more restricted for seven years after Israel built a Separation Wall in West Bank. The 750 kilometers long “apartheid” wall equipped with many security tools, such as 24 hours control towers, military patrols, trenches, surveillance cameras, and electric wires. Unlucky, each town passed by the Wall has only one gate. 

Actually, Israel provides easiness to Palestinians in West Bank every Ramadan. One of the privileges, Israel will open two crossing points to Jenin and Ramallah until midnight everyday. Other gates operate 24 hours usually.

Also, Palestinians still have families in Israel will be permitted for a week visit. About a fifth of 7.8 million populations in Israel are Arabs who stayed when Israel established in 1948. They have permanent resident.

A similar rule is also applied to Israelis who have family in West Bank. They can visit their relatives except on Friday. Israel always worry clashes can  happen after Friday prayer.

A good news waited by Palestinian children is they will be allowed to play with toy guns and fireworks in Eid Fitri.

Arutz Sheva/Yediot Ahronot/Faisal Assegaf

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