The Israeli military has revoked permits for more than 80,000 Palestinians to visit Israel during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan after a terror attack in Tel Aviv.
Two gunmen opened fire in the Sarona Market food and retail centre on Wednesday evening, killing four Israelis and wounded more than a dozen others, in one of the deadliest attacks in an eight-month wave of violence.
Both attackers are in custody, with one in hospital, and police say they have identified the suspects as cousins and blockaded their home village of Yatta, in the West Bank.
An unknown number of people were arrested in overnight raids by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and authorities were reportedly preparing to demolish one of the gunmen’s homes.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (Cogat), an Israeli military body, said Palestinian residents were banned from entering or leaving Yatta and access would only be permitted for humanitarian and medical cases.
“All permits for Ramadan, especially permits for family visits from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to Israel, are frozen,” said a statement.
It said that 83,000 Palestinians would be affected, including 204 relatives of the alleged attackers, and hundreds of people from the Gaza Strip who had received permits to visit relatives and holy sites during Ramadan.
It will prevent thousands of Muslims travelling to the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam that has become a flashpoint for protests, during the month of fasting and prayer.
Holders of Palestinian ID cards are banned from using Israel’s only international airport – Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv, forcing them to leave the country via Jordan or Egypt instead.
For Israel, it’s considered reasonable policy to close their borders and build walls around their entire nation. When Donald Trump and other Americans suggests the US do the same, we’re demonized as “racist.”