© Reuters. A Palestinian sells socks at a stall near the rubble of his old shop that was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, in Gaza City, on July 14, 2021. Photo taken on July 14, 2021. REUTERS / Mohammed Salem
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA (Reuters) – For Palestinians who lost loved ones in clashes between Gaza militants and Israel two months ago, there is little reason to celebrate during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha.
Known as the Feast of Sacrifice, it commemorates the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to show his dedication to God.
The holiday, which coincides with Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, begins on Tuesday, and Muslims traditionally celebrate the occasion by sacrificing 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 the deaths of his daughter Manar, 39, and his daughter, Lina, 13, who he said were killed by an Israeli missile that destroyed their home in the Bureij refugee camp on May 13. Manar’s husband and three other children survived.
“As adults, pain still haunts us, but we must take 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 older sister,” Issa said, sitting down. next to a large mural of Manar.
The Islamist Hamas government in Gaza says 2,200 houses were destroyed and 37,000 damaged by Israeli shelling during 11 days of cross-border fighting in May.
More than 250 Palestinians were killed in hundreds of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza that were launched after Hamas began firing rockets at Israel in retaliation for what the group said were abuses of the rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Thirteen people were killed in Israel during life-interrupting rocket bombardments and sent people running for cover.
In Gaza cattle markets, breeders and farmers reported low sales before the holidays. At a market in Khan Younis city, some customers loaded animals onto donkey carts to take them home.
“This year, the purchase of animals is weak due to the blockade, the war and the coronavirus,” said trader Saleem Abu Atwa, referring in part to strict border restrictions imposed by Israel and Egypt, which cite security concerns over the measures. .
“We hope the calm continues. It is for the good of all,” he added.
At a street stall in Gaza’s busy Rimal neighborhood, Mohammad Al-Qassas mourns the destruction of his shoe store in the fighting while selling goods he salvaged from the rubble.
The 23-year-old fears that an Egyptian-brokered truce that ended the gravest hostilities between Gaza and Israel militants in years might not last.
“Another war would be a disaster,” he told Reuters.
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