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Restrictions on Old City Jews During Ramadan

With the onset of Ramadan (Moslem holy month) celebrations, the police have instructed Jews living on a main Old City thoroughfare not to traverse it between 8 and 10 PM in the coming weeks.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 9/25/2006, 1:37 PM / Last Update: 9/25/2006, 4:30 PM

The Jews living in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City - 800 in number - were informed by the Jerusalem Police that they must not leave their homes without prior coordination during the evening hours. This, because of the expected large number of Moslem celebrants - including many hostile ones - returning from the Temple Mount at that time each night.

Ramadan, for devout Muslims, is a month of fasting by day and feasting at night.

The orders originally applied to all the Jewish families in the area, but were later reduced, following a request to the police, to include only HaGai St. Some 30 Jewish families, as well as the students of a yeshiva and a pre-military academy, live on HaGai St.

Reactions among the Jewish public were mixed. One man said, "It is not acceptable to us that the police simply decides that it cannot protect us and enforce the law and that therefore we must be restricted."

"Is it conceivable in the U.S. that the police would inform the Greek community not to leave their homes because the Italians are having a celebration?" asked another.

On the other hand, local security head Yuval Alpert told Arutz-7, "We work together with the police and trust them." Asked why the police don't simply station more forces in the area, he said, "You apparently don't realize the numbers of Arabs that are going to pass on this street - very many... In any event, we will still be able to reach our homes via back ways and the like."

The Jerusalem Police Department informed Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen that the roads will simply be divided in a way that will enable separate ambulatory traffic routes for Jews and Arabs. Asked if there will be roads that are open only to Jews, the police spokesman said no.