Tens of thousands of Palestinians have had their Ramadan travel permits frozen by the Israeli government, following the shooting deaths of four people by two Palestinians in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
"All permits for Ramadan, especially permits for family visits from Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] to Israel, are frozen," a statement by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories said, according to Middle East Eye .
The statement went on to say that the decision directly affected 83,000 Palestinians and that hundreds of Palestinians living in Gaza would also be blocked from traveling. Police have said that the two attackers, who were both capture alive although one was wounded, were cousins from Hebron in the West Bank. More than 200 relatives of one of the attackers are included in the travel ban.
In response to the Wednesday attack, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also promised "intensive action," saying that the police, the army and other security services will be used to prevent further attacks.
"We discussed a range of offensive and defensive steps, which we shall take in order to act against this phenomenon," Netanyahu said.
Throughout Ramadan, thousands of Palestinians usually visit al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam. Residents of Gaza and the West Bank must apply for travel permits in order to visit al-Aqsa, other holy sites and family members.
Now, as a collective punishment, tens of thousands will be refused the basic right to see their family members and to celebrate the holy month as they please.