For Palestinians who lost loved ones in Israeli airstrikes two months ago, there is little cause for celebration during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Qurban Bayram, also known as Eid al-Adha.
Muslims traditionally mark Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, by offering special prayers and slaughtering livestock, usually a goat, sheep, a cow or a camel, to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith. The holiday, coinciding with the hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, begins on Tuesday, and Muslims traditionally mark the occasion by slaughtering sheep or cows and exchanging gifts.
For this year's four-day festival, Mahmoud Issa, a 73-year-old retired teacher, bought new clothes for his grandchildren and took them to a farm to choose an animal to slaughter. But he mourns his daughter Manar, 39, and her daughter, Lina, 13, who he said was killed by an Israeli missile that destroyed their house in the Bureij refugee camp on May 13. Manar's husband and three other children survived.
"As adults, we are still haunted by pain, but we must get the children out of this atmosphere and make them live the atmosphere of Eid, so that they forget the pain of losing their mother and their eldest sister," Issa said, sitting next to a large mural of Manar.
Gaza's Hamas-run government says 2,200 homes were destroyed and 37,000 damaged by Israeli bombing during the 11 days of cross-border fighting in May. More than 250 Palestinians were killed in hundreds of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
In Gaza's livestock markets, breeders and farmers reported poor sales ahead of the holiday. At one market in the town of Khan Younis, some customers loaded animals onto donkey carts to take them home.
"This year, the purchase of animals is weak because of the blockade, war and the coronavirus," said merchant Saleem Abu Atwa, referring in part to tight border restrictions imposed by Israel and Egypt, which cite security concerns for the measures. "We hope calm continues. It is for the sake of everyone," he added.
At a street stall in Gaza's busy Rimal neighborhood, Mohammad Al-Qassas laments the destruction of his shoe store in the fighting as he sells goods that he salvaged from the rubble.
The 23-year-old fears that an Egyptian-brokered truce that ended the most serious hostilities between Gaza militants and Israel in years might not last. "Another war would be a disaster," he told Reuters.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.