Israel bans Palestinian trips in Ramadan after Tel Aviv attack

Israel says it has suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians after gunmen killed four people in an attack at an open-air complex in Tel Aviv. The decision, announced in a statement on Thursday, came after at least four Israelis were killed and several others injured during a shooting attack at a shopping center in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night. The statement said Tel Aviv had suspended 83,000 entry permits for Palestinians during the fasting month of Ramadan and canceled its easing of security measures for the Gaza Strip. Palestinians are particularly barred from visiting Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount in al-Quds (Jerusalem), the statement noted. Initial reports said the attackers in Tel Aviv were dressed as ultra-Orthodox Jews, but police later claimed they were of Palestinian origin. Under the new measures, Israel has also frozen 204 entrance permits for Gaza-based relatives of the alleged attackers, who had planned to visit the occupied territories and holy sites. “There will be intensive action by the police, the army and other security services, not just to catch every accomplice to this murder but also to prevent further incidents,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tensions have mounted in the occupied territories amid a stepped-up expansion of settlement construction by Israel and frequent raids on sensitive worship sites of the Palestinians by Israeli extremists. At least 213 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since the beginning of last October. The spark for the uprising came in August last year when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinians into the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds (Jerusalem). Source; Agencies