JERUSALEM, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - For the first time over the last seven years residents of the Gaza Strip have been allowed to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday, a spokeswoman for "Gisha", an Israeli organization protecting the freedom of movement of Palestinians told RIA Novosti Monday.
500 Gaza residents over 60 years old are being allowed to stay in Jerusalem from Sunday to Tuesday, Gisha reported Sunday. Most of the visitors permitted to enter the city had not visited the temple Mount and Old Jerusalem for many years.
"I haven't been here for 35 years, everything has changed since then," Gisha cited one of the visitors as saying. "It's like being in paradise."
"This has not happened since 2007. Christians could leave (for religious holidays) but not Muslims," Gisha spokeswoman Shai Grunberg told RIA Novosti.
Israel also permitted 500 Gaza residents to visit their relatives in the West Bank and promised to allow some exports, mainly fish, to be shipped from Gaza.
Freedom of movement of Gaza residents has been curtailed since 2006 when Israel imposed a blockade to restrict the inflow from Gaza and the West Bank. The blockade was tightened following frequent shelling from the Gaza strip after the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the territory.