Home News Eid al-Adha, Gaza residents spend another sad holiday amid war

Eid al-Adha, Gaza residents spend another sad holiday amid war

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After eight devastating months of war, Muslims in Gaza will solemnly observe Eid al-Adha on Sunday, a major religious holiday when people typically share meat with friends, family and those in need.

Adha means sacrifice, and the ritual slaughter of a sheep, goat or cow on that day symbolizes the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son. But this year, Almost everyone in Gaza needs helpHunger has spread across the Palestinian territories as Israel launches an eight-month military offensive and severely restricts the flow of goods, including humanitarian aid, into the region.

Many people don’t want to celebrate.

“There will be no Eid, no Eid atmosphere,” said Zaina Kamuni, who lives with her family in a tent on a stretch of sand in Al-Mawasi in southern Gaza. “I haven’t eaten meat in five months.”

She added: “This day will be like any other day, just like Eid al-Fitr,” another important Muslim festival. Gazans observed this more than two months ago. Under the same conditions.

Gazans have been subjected to frequent heavy bombardment and deprivation since the war began on Oct. 7 with a Hamas-led assault on Israel that Israel estimates killed 1,200 people. More than 37,000 people have died and famine is raging, according to Gaza health authorities.

“The people of Gaza continue to face extreme hunger due to continued restrictions on humanitarian access,” said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Post on social media The health ministry added on Saturday that more than 50,000 children needed treatment for acute malnutrition.

On Sunday, the Israeli military announced a pause in military operations near southern Gaza border crossings to allow more aid to enter the area, but it was unclear whether more supplies would come in. The United Nations World Food Program warned this week that southern Gaza could soon experience the catastrophic famine that northern Gazans have experienced.

Many Gazans are hopeful that Israel and Hamas are reportedly negotiating a ceasefire, but the passing of each holiday — including Christmas and Easter for Gaza’s minority Christian population — is a reminder of how entrenched the war has become.

In past years, Adnan Abdul Aziz, 53, who lives in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, could buy a lamb and slaughter it on Eid al-Fitr. On Eid morning, he and his family would eat the lamb’s liver for breakfast and the meat in a traditional Palestinian dish for lunch. They would give the leftover meat to family, friends and those in need.

Now, due to a lack of electricity and rising market prices, Mr Abdul Aziz has to buy food every day, depending on food supplies and what he can afford. But he said the only thing he will miss this year is not just eating and drinking.

“There were family visits and get-togethers, giving money to the children, buying new clothes for everyone, making sweets, saying Eid prayers,” he said. “None of that can be done this year. Everyone is sad, having lost someone or something.”

Aya Ali Adwan, 26, was engaged before the fighting broke out. Her wedding was originally scheduled for February but was postponed, another celebration interrupted by conflict.

She and her family, who are from northern Gaza and have been forced to flee eight times during the war, now live in a cramped tent in Deir al-Balah, where temperatures approach 95 degrees and the heat is stifling.

“I had a mental breakdown,” she said. “We were supposed to be busy preparing for Eid like any Palestinian family, baking cookies and doing everyday things like cleaning the house and buying clothes. But this year, there was nothing.”

She said many relatives who would have returned home to visit during Eid had been killed in the war.

“Now, all we need is to feel safe, even though we have nothing,” she said. “All we need is for the war to stop so we can return home.”

Amirah Haruda and Bilal Shibai Contributed reporting.

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