Middle East Crisis: Israel Allows U.N. Trucks to Take Food Directly Into Northern Gaza

Middle East Crisis: Israel Allows U.N. Trucks to Take Food Directly Into Northern Gaza

Palestinians within the Israeli-occupied West Bank are welcoming Ramadan with little of the standard cheer. Amid Israel’s persevering with assaults in Gaza and rising violence within the West Bank, the holy month’s festive decorations and celebratory temper are being changed by emotions of helplessness and despair.

“There’s no pleasure,” mentioned Hana Karameh, a mom of 5 from the town of Hebron.

Ramadan this 12 months will probably be “incomplete,” she mentioned. Usually, on the night time earlier than the primary quick of Ramadan begins, they might pray along with their neighbors and collect for suhoor — the pre-dawn meal — whereas youngsters shot off fireworks.

On Sunday night time, because the holy month dawned, she mentioned, “there was none of that.”

Even earlier than Ramadan, Ms. Karameh mentioned she had a tough time sitting down for meals figuring out that many individuals in Gaza had been ravenous. “I preserve asking myself, did they eat? Did they drink? ” she mentioned.

Displaced Palestinians making ready the iftar meal outdoors a tent in Rafah, Gaza, on Monday.Credit…Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ms. Karameh mentioned that her husband would normally take their youngest youngsters to the market to purchase sweets and top off on meals the night time earlier than Ramadan started. Later he would take them to the mosque to hope Taraweeh, a every day Ramadan nighttime prayer. But this 12 months, she mentioned, the household couldn’t do these issues.

“We would normally be seven folks at our iftar desk,” she mentioned, referring to the night meal that breaks the quick. “But this 12 months we will probably be 5.”

Ms. Karameh’s husband, Jamal, 55, and her daughter Baraah, 19, had been detained greater than three months in the past by Israeli forces and are being held in administrative detention, with out cost or trial. They are among the many greater than 7,500 Palestinians within the West Bank and East Jerusalem who’ve been detained by Israeli forces for the reason that Oct. 7 Hamas-led assaults, in keeping with the Palestinian Authority, which workout routines restricted management over the West Bank.

Palestinians within the West Bank are additionally much less more likely to host lavish iftar meals this 12 months as a result of their financial state of affairs has worsened over the past 5 months. Israeli restrictions and closures throughout the West Bank have left companies struggling since Oct. 7.

“It’s a really totally different feeling in comparison with previous years,” mentioned Bassam Abu al-Rub, a journalist from the West Bank city of Jenin, who lives in Nablus. “I went to the grocery store and solely purchased primary substances as a result of once we sit on the desk to eat after seeing the scenes in Gaza, we really feel heartbroken.”

A vendor promoting qatayef, a conventional Ramadan desert, close to Tulkarem within the West Bank on Monday.Credit…Alaa Badarneh/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

Worsening violence and common Israeli raids within the West Bank have killed greater than 425 folks there since Oct. 7, in keeping with the Palestinian well being ministry in Ramallah — and the toll continues to climb. The ministry mentioned on Wednesday that Israeli forces had killed two folks in a single day close to the city of Al Jib. The Israeli army has mentioned that the raids are part of their counterterrorism efforts towards members of Hamas within the West Bank.

“On prime of the conflict in Gaza, the West Bank has been dwelling a conflict since 2021,” Mr. Abu al-Rub mentioned, referring to the 12 months when Israeli raids, detentions and settler violence started to rise sharply within the occupied territory. “Imagine if you end up dwelling this emotional state of every day incursions, sounds of gunfire and gasoline bombs and common detentions,” Mr. Abu al-Rub mentioned in a cellphone name. “Of course you’ll concern additional escalation” in the course of the holy month, he added.

Mr. Abu al-Rub mentioned that yearly he would stay up for Israel granting him a allow to go to Jerusalem and pray at Al Aqsa Mosque, one of many holiest websites in Islam. But this 12 months, he didn’t have a lot hope that he would get to go.

Al Aqsa, which is on a website revered by Jews as the situation of two historic temples, has lengthy been a degree of competition, and lately Israel has exerted tighter management over it. On Monday, Israel’s company overseeing coverage for the Palestinian territories posted on Facebook that solely males over the age of 55, girls over the age of fifty and kids below the age of 10 could be allowed to enter Israel from the West Bank to hope at Al Aqsa throughout Ramadan.

Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting.



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