No prayer under fire

Erez crossing. Photo: Gisha

Erez crossing. Photo: Gisha

June 9, 2016. Israel announced that it will not allow Gaza residents to travel to Jerusalem for prayer at Al-Aqsa tomorrow. The official reason for the cancellation of the planned exit of worshippers is the shooting attack that took place last night in Tel Aviv. Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians are despicable acts that must be strongly condemned. Cancelling the permits for worshippers has no security justification.

The Palestinian Civilian Affairs Committee was notified of the cancellation by the Israeli authorities and is currently informing permit holders that they will not be able to travel tomorrow. The official reason for the cancellation of the worshippers’ travel, as well as other measures taken by Israel, is the shooting attack yesterday’s evening in Tel Aviv.

Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians are despicable and must be strongly condemned. The suspects should be tried and justice meted out accordingly. At the same time, there is no justification and no reason to punish more innocent people for actions over which they have no control and for crimes they did not commit. Israel has an obligation to protect its citizens. Cancelling travel permits for Friday prayers has no security justification and appears to be an arbitrary act of collective punishment.