Daily Israel Report

Ramadan: Soldiers Told Not to Eat or Smoke in Front of Arabs

Soldiers told to show consideration for Arab sensibilities during fast month. Grassroots Samaria Council asks: is this Ehud Barak or Ahmed Barak?
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/10/2010, 10:43 PM

Flash 90

Instructions issued by the IDF for the Muslim month of Ramadan forbid soldiers from eating, drinking or smoking in front of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria. A statement issued by the IDF Spokesman said that as the Muslim holiday approaches, representatives of the Civilian Administration "briefed the forces operating in the field about the holidays and customs of Ramadan.”

"The soldiers were instructed to show greater consideration toward the residents, and to refrain as much as possible from eating, drinking and smoking in public in front of the population, especially at the crossing points, and to be alert and accommodating.”

Devout Muslims refrain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime hours of Ramadan.

Several checkpoints will operate until later hours because of Ramadan. In addition, first-degree relatives of Arabs living in pre-1967 Israel will be allowed to visit them for a one-week period during the month of Ramadan.

Two hundred entry permits for foreigners from Arab countries will be issued for “humanitarian cases.”

The grassroots Samaria Residents' Council was not happy with the instructions issued to the soldiers. “It is sad to see how the Minister of Defense shows such grand consideration for the Muslim faith, and at the same time sends IDF soldiers and Border Police to tear down synagogues, beat up rabbis of communities, issue demolition orders for yeshivas and drag Jewish youths by their earlocks.”

The Council asks: “Is he Ehud Barak or Ahmed Barak?”