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Israel suspends Ramadan permits for Palestinians

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Israel said Thursday it had suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan following a shooting in Tel Aviv that killed four people.

“All permits for Ramadan, especially permits for family visits from Judea and Samaria to Israel, are frozen,” said a statement from COGAT, the unit which manages civilian affairs in the occupied West Bank.

It said that 83,000 Palestinians would be affected, adding that 200 residents of Gaza who had received permits to visit relatives during Ramadan would also have access frozen.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack by two gunmen Wednesday evening at a popular Tel Aviv food market. Relatives said the two men were cousins and identified them as Mohammad Makhamreh, a construction worker, and Khalid Makhamreh, a student at the University of Jordan in Amman.

The shooting reflected the despair young Palestinians feel over the lack of concrete steps toward establishing a Palestinian state, relatives of the men said.

“I’m against killing of innocents,” said Khalid Makhamreh’s father, Mohammed. “The occupation is to blame. The Palestinian Authority is to blame. The youth have no leadership.”

The two men, wearing suits and ties, were shown in closed-circuit television footage standing up from their table at a restaurant in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market and opening fire on customers. One was arrested and the other was rushed to the hospital after being shot and subdued by police.

[Source: Al Arabiya/WSJ]
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