Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

IDF Soldiers Encouraged To Respect Ramadan

Soldiers ordered not to eat, smoke or drink in front of Muslims during the holiday

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 8th, 2013 in News » World

IDF Soldiers Encouraged To Respect Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, an annual observance regarded as one of the five Pillars for Islam, and one of the holiest months for the Muslim people.

Beginning this year on July 9th, Ramadan is a month-long period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims . In a bid to display tolerance and respectfulness of the holiday, the Israel Defense Forces have made it mandatory for all soldiers to ‘show considerable consideration’ for Palestinian Authority Arabs, and refrain from eating, smoking, or drinking in their presence.

By doing so, the IDF hopes that Palestinian Muslims will be able to comfortably observe Ramadan, and even establish a mutual respect between them and IDF officials. Soldiers were particularly advised to be respectful of Muslims at security fence crossings in Judea and Samara.

Beginning this Wednesday, religious Muslims observe the holiday by fasting from sunrise to sunset for a month.

IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, also ordered a lifting of restrictions on Palestinians to ‘improve their fabric of life,’ displaying a gesture of good will and kindness on behalf of the Israeli forces.

Now that certain restrictions will no longer apply, thanks to the lifting, all Palestinian Authority Arabs over 60 will be permitted to cross from Judea and Samaria into the rest of Israel without permits, and all women and men over 40 will be able enter the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount every Friday, also without permits.

The IDF estimates that as many as 20,000 Arabs will be allowed on the Temple Mount during the month of Ramadan.

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