Gisha asks COGAT to expand the policy on exiting Gaza for family visits in the West Bank and Israel during the month of Ramadan
On June 2, 2015, Gisha sent a letter to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, regarding expanding the policy on travel from Gaza for family visits during the month of Ramadan (Hebrew).
The holy month of Ramadan is Islam’s second most important religious holiday, and the Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam. This special month, like other holidays, is an opportunity to spend time with family and in religious observance. The importance of allowing families to reunite and observe Ramadan together extends beyond religious rights; it could be an opportunity for Palestinian families to exercise their basic right to normal family life, which, for families who are divided, cannot be properly exercised during the rest of the year due to severe and ongoing restrictions on movement.
The State of Israel recognizes the right to freedom of religion and worship, as well as the right to family life. The state has taken some measures toward improving the ability of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to exercise their religious rights. Gisha asks that, as an extension of these measures, Israel expand the policy on travel from Gaza for family visits in the West Bank and Israel during the month of Ramadan.