Freedom of Worship Denied: Ramadan 2023 for Palestinians


Jerusalem Story

On most days of the year, Palestinians who hold Palestinian Authority IDs (meaning generally Palestinians who live in the West Bank in areas outside the Jerusalem municipal boundaries and Gaza) must apply for a military entry permit to enter Jerusalem. Without this permit, which can take weeks to obtain and is often denied, they cannot pass through any checkpoint or enter the city legally.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel trumpets the fact that it “eases” these “restrictions” by cancelling the requirement for an entry permit for certain classes of ID holders and replacing it with a prayer permit requirement for others. But how many Palestinians really get through and are allowed to exercise their right to worship at their holiest places, which are located in the Old City of Jerusalem? 

Our graphic examines this question for Ramadan 2023. 

Note: The numbers who “crossed” are reported by the Israeli COGAT and might be therefore altered for political reasons, but this is the only available source. As well, it’s important to note that these numbers represent anyone who crossed on any Friday. These are not necessarily all different individuals. If someone passed through the checkpoint on all four Fridays, they would be counted four times. There is no way for us to allow for this possibility under the current circumstances.