Daily Israel Report

Barkat to End Ramadan Fast Day

As Israel eases restrictions on Arabs in honor of Ramadan, Jerusalem's Mayor will fire the cannon to end Wednesday's fasting day.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/3/2011, 8:14 AM

Mayor Nir Barkat
Mayor Nir Barkat
Flash 90

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Wednesday will fire the traditional Ramadan cannon, marking the end of the day’s fast for many of Jerusalem’s Muslim residents. The event will take place in the ancient cemetery on Salah A-Din Street.

During the month of Ramadan, the Jerusalem Municipality operates free shuttles to ease congestion of worshippers on the Temple Mount and makes special considerations to Muslim employees of the municipality. The municipality also executes massive cleaning operations ahead of Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr.

The IDF has eased security restrictions on Gaza Arabs during Ramadan, and soldiers have been given orders “to show special consideration toward the Palestinian residents of the Judea and Samaria region and, wherever possible, to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public” in order not offend Muslims.

The IDF also is granting visiting permits to Palestinian Authority Arabs who have relatives in Israel and is allowing 200 Arabs to travel abroad from Ben Gurion Airport.

In addition, the crossing to Ramallah will be open until midnight every day, and Israeli Arabs will be able to use the crossings in the northern Jordan Valley.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a “reaching out to Muslims” speech on the eve of the Ramadan holiday and wished success for the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

“Israel could serve as a beacon of light to residents of the region who are also aspiring to freedom,” he said. “We are witnessing now a very dramatic moment in human history, in the history of the Middle East.

“We are witnessing the Arab Spring and we all want it to flourish and succeed….

“We want the Arab societies and democracies succeed, and I know that if an Arab democracy will be born, there will be true peace.”