'Mourning in every home': Palestinians express grief ahead of Eid Al-Adha

Palestinians in West Bank struggle with economic woes, violence before Eid Al-Adha

13:46 - 15/06/2024 Cumartesi
File photo
File photo

Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are unable to celebrate Eid al-Adha as they once did because of economic hardships, severe attacks in the Gaza Strip and unlawful actions in the West Bank.

Israel's attacks on Gaza have killed at least 37,232 Palestinians, including 15,517 children and 10,279 women, and injured 85,037 victims since last October.

Thousands of bodies are still under the rubble of destroyed buildings and infrastructure, including hospitals and schools.

In the lead-up to Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which commemorates prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, on an order from God, Israel froze work permits for 80,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Before the conflict, more than 170,000 Palestinians worked in Israel, a crucial income source for the Palestinian economy.

Additionally, since Oct. 7, more than 540 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and illegal settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Ahead of Eid al-Adha, Anadolu's correspondent observed livestock markets in Ramallah and El-Bire in the central West Bank, observing stagnation first-hand and complaints from traders about low demand, cash shortages and high livestock costs due to rising feed prices.

- 'No joy for us this year'

While Palestinian traders spoke of extremely weak demand, residents expressed sorrow, saying: "There is no joy for us this year."

Nadir Abu Arab said the war in Gaza and human rights violations and massacres in the West Bank have weighed heavily on people, depriving Palestinians of the joy of the holiday.

"We have no joy left. There is mourning in every home. Dozens of people are killed every day. Our situation is worse than the Nakba in 1948. For us, this Eid is limited to praying and performing Eid rituals, and helping the families of martyrs and the displaced," said Abu Arab.

Mustafa Semir noted that Eid is about worship and joy. "There is no room for joy while our people are killed every day, and massacres are being committed. It is better to spend Eid helping families who have been displaced and those who have lost their breadwinners," he said.

- Palestinian traders in West Bank in agony

Osama Abbud, who owns a clothing store in Ramallah, said sales have decreased by more than 70% compared to last year, and despite discounts, demand is very low.

"This is the second Eid under the shadow of war. We have no joy left. Very few people are shopping for Eid and buying new clothes due to war, destruction, mourning, and the increasingly worsening economic situation," he said.

"We are still displaying products from the month of Ramadan. There is no activity in the market. People only come to buy what is absolutely necessary. Despite everything, we thank Allah. The situation in Gaza also affects the West Bank. We are one people," Bilal Kazim, a trader, noted.

- No money in hand

Civil servant Samir Arafat said he could not buy what he wanted for Eid al-Adha this year due to worsening financial conditions.

Arafat said it has become nearly impossible to buy new clothes for Eid due to the high cost of living, noting that they have received partial salaries for years and recently only 50%.

Abdulkerim Yunus, another public employee, said there is no money left in the hands of people, and the economic situation is most evident in marketplaces and livestock markets.

Since Oct. 7, Palestinians have been enduring hardships due to Israel withholding customs revenues meant for the Palestine government, the looming prospect of massive layoffs for tens of thousands in the West Bank, decreased foreign aid and the ongoing conditions of war.

#East Jerusalem
#Eid al-Adha
#Feast of Sacrifice
#Occupied West Bank
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