The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on May 27, will come to an end at sundown on Sunday, June 25. During this time, businesses and restaurants in Israel and the Palestinian Territories may be closed, especially in the West Bank, as Muslims gather to pray and celebrate with family and friends for the Eid al-Fitr holiday. While practices vary by area, Eid al-Fitr celebrations are likely to have an impact on many businesses, stock exchanges, and services (including administrative services) that will close or significantly reduce their hours of operation on Sunday evening and potentially into Monday. As this period is typically marked by increased travel, heavy road traffic after sundown along with other transportation disruptions (crowded airports, etc.) is to be anticipated.
Israel has announced special security measures at the entrances and exits to Jerusalem and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Security is expected to increase during the Eid al-Fitr period. Clashes are possible with security forces.
Eid al-Fitr celebrates the conclusion of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting and is one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. In addition, the month of Ramadan has been marred by a significant increase in the terrorist threat in recent years.
Longstanding political and social tensions between Israelis and Palestinians contribute to frequent security incidents of varying severity, with an increased risk surrounding holidays and important dates. Israel claims that these incidents are largely the result of the Palestinian Authority (PA) fueling social unrest with calls to protest, whereas Palestinians criticize what they describe as an illegal occupation by the Israeli population. Tensions have been mounting since a December UNSC resolution condemned Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories as illegal; meanwhile, Israel continues to regularly demolish homes owned by Palestinians.
Individuals in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to allow for additional travel time, to remain vigilant, and to avoid large public gatherings.