In first since 2007, 500 Gazans to visit Jerusalem for holiday
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In first since 2007, 500 Gazans to visit Jerusalem for holiday

Palestinian official says Israel grants 3-day permits to residents of coastal enclave over the age of 60 for Eid al-Adha

Palestinian travelers wait before crossing into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on August 25, 2014. (photo credit: AFP Photo/Said Khatib)
Palestinian travelers wait before crossing into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on August 25, 2014. (photo credit: AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

Israel has granted 500 Gazans a three-day travel permit to Jerusalem in honor of the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, a Palestinian official told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency Wednesday.

The official said this was the largest number of permits granted to Palestinians from Gaza since the 2007 elections, during which Hamas came into power.

The Palestinians set to visit the capital from Sunday to Tuesday are all over the age of 60.

On Tuesday, a senior Israeli official met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to discuss the rehabilitation of Gaza, among other issues.

According to Ynet, the issues being discussed are changes in Israel’s restrictions on Gaza, including permitting men over 60 to enter Jerusalem for religious services during Muslim holy days and allowing Gaza goods to be exported to the West Bank.

A source identified as a senior Israeli political official said the talks were “coordination intended to change the situation on the ground” and were “something happening in addition to truce talks in Cairo.”

Israeli officials called the meeting part of Israel’s regular coordination efforts with the Palestinian Authority ahead of the Muslim holy days.

This year, the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, occurs on the same day as Yom Kippur — on Saturday — leading to concerns about violence.

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