Israel cancels entry permits for Gazans following rocket attack

After previously easing travel restrictions on Gazan Palestinians seeking to pray in Jerusalem, home to the Temple Mount (pictured) holy site, during the Muslim month of Ramadan, Israel has cancelled 500 entry permits due to a rocket attack from Gaza. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Israel has cancelled entry permits for Gazans seeking to travel to Jerusalem for Ramadan due to unsafe conditions following a rocket attack on Tuesday.  

The spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, said that the 500 men and women scheduled to leave Gaza on Thursday and Friday will not be able to cross into Israel because “the security conditions around the crossing aren’t stable,” the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported. 

The rocket on Tuesday evening landed near the Erez border crossing between Israel and Gaza. A Salafi jihadist group called the “Omar Brigades,” which is sympathetic to the Islamic State terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for the attack. Over the last few months, Hamas has been battling with Gaza-based Salafi jihadist groups, who have been behind a number of recent rocket attacks on Israel. But Israel still holds Hamas, which governs Gaza, responsible for all rocket fire from the area.

“Hamas is responsible for depriving worshipers of prayer in Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan,” Mordechai said. “I am not saying that Hamas fired the missile, but Hamas is responsible because it controls the Gaza Strip.”

Before Tuesday's Salafi rocket attack as well as two recent Palestinian terror attacks inside of Israel, the Jewish state had made the goodwill gesture of easing restrictions on Palestinian travel from Gaza or the West Bank to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Posted on June 24, 2015 .