Israel eases restrictions for Ramadan


The Israeli army is easing restrictions on Palestinians during the Muslim observance of Ramadan.

The army is extending the opening hours of checkpoints and allowing Israeli Arabs to enter Palestinian-only parts of the West Bank, as well as the transfer of gifts to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman announced Sunday.

Soldiers operating in Palestinian areas were briefed about the customs of the monthlong religious observance, which began Monday. Troops were ordered to show consideration for the Palestinians, including being ordered to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in Palestinian-populated areas, according to the spokesman.

Ramadan marks the month in which, according to Muslim tradition, the prophet Muhammad received the Koran. It ends Sept. 30 with the Eid-ul-Fir holiday.

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