Palestinians are marking the Islamic holy month of Ramadan amid hopes for restoring peace in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and also with a great hope that the economic situations will be fine so that the families can afford buying the necessary things for the holy month of Ramadan.
There are many families in Gaza and in the West Bank depend greatly on the aid funds that
some countries send to the Palestinian Authority as it distributes these amounts of
mony among the poorest families in Gaza and the West Bank. Unfortunately, until this moment there is no any optimistic news that these families take their funds.
In Gaza, local residents are decorating their houses, streets, and shops with colored
lights and lanterns to celebrate the upcoming holy month.
Rana Ahmed, a 28-year-old mother of three in Gaza, spent many days buying
food, decorations, as well as sweets ahead of Ramadan in a bid to create a joyful
atmosphere for her family.
“For many years, we were deprived of such festive atmospheres due to the bitter
reality under the long-term conflict between Israel and the Palestinian factions as well as economic deterioration” in the besieged Palestinian enclave, she said.
Because of poverty, she recalled, “I could not have such preparations as my husband was unemployed and could not keep us afloat.”
She said their economic conditions improved after her husband landed a job in
Israel, allowing her to save money for this Ramadan.
She believes that the current peace and political understanding between the Gaza under Hamas and Israel have made it possible for local families to mark Ramadan according to their traditions.
The agreement between Hamas, the ruling government here in Gaza, and Israel
allowed many Gazans to enter Israel and to work there. Many families benefited
from this agreement and their economic situation has become better and better.
Nevertheless, many Palestinians in Gaza were deprived from crossing Irez checkpoint and enter Israel under to what is so called ” security ban”. These
families face bad economic situation and they can’t afford buying Ramadan’s
Another important thing we have the graduates from universities.
The separation from both governments in Gaza and West bank had worsen the conditions of the graduates. Every year we have a lot of graduates from universities and the sad
news there are no jobs from them. They tend to work in other fields away from their specialization to get some money.
Some people in Gaza also await Qatari help and this help is distributed every month to the poor families also. This Qatari help can enhance the economic
situation for these families but still the help isn’t enough. Some officials say that instead of distributing money among them we need to construct some factories and to encourage work programmes for these families. These ideas and plans are
rejected completely from Israel.
Mohammed Jarada, a vendor of home decor accessories in the al-Zawiya market in Gaza told us that he was happy as he had sold most of his goods days before
“In the past, we struggled to clear the backlog of goods in our warehouses” even
on the eve of the holiday due to deteriorating economic condition in Gaza, but the market is crowded this year, Jarada added.
Both Jarada and Ahmed hoped that all military hostilities between Gaza and Israel
will cease so that local residents can live in peace ,safety and prosperity.
During Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims generally observe a strict daily fast from dawn to sunset and conduct rituals including the
sacrifice of an animal and charities to the poor. However, over the past few months, regular Israeli raids in the West Bank have
disrupted Palestinians’ daily life, and the loss of lives from these conflicts has dismayed many Palestinians before the Ramadan celebrations.
Wael al-Saady, a Ramallah-based man in his 40s said that he did not buy any Ramadan decorations for the first time in his life, and that he only bought food.
“Unfortunately, grief prevails in our area as dozens of families lost their relatives, who were killed or arrested by the Israeli forces,” the father-of-four said, adding
they could barely celebrate the holy month but stand in solidarity with the families of the victims.
Salim Refaei, a vendor from Ramallah, blamed the Israeli raids for slack markets during Ramadan in recent years. “We urgently need to get our normal life back and
stop military tensions,” he said.
A flaring tension between Israel and the Palestinians since January has led to the killing of 90 Palestinians and 14 Israelis, according to official Palestinian and Israeli statistics.
Both sides need peace and prosperity to be prevailed in the region because the conflict will cause severe economic loss. Most families couldn’t afford buying food because of the bad economic situations in the area. In the West Bank, the operations that took place recently caused a lot of grieve for the families who lost
some members in the Israeli raids