Gazans Find Little to Celebrate as Eid al-Fitr Begins at the End of Ramadan

As Eid al-Fitr approached, Amani Abu Awda’s four children began asking her for new clothes and toys — festive items that Muslims customarily buy to celebrate the holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

But the mother of four from northern Gaza is now displaced with her family in a tent in the southern city of Rafah, far from any sense of festivity and the home that once hosted large family gatherings.

“Oh God, I couldn’t get anything for them because of the high prices,” she said Saturday, days before most Muslims worldwide would celebrate Eid al-Fitr. “I had to go try and find used clothing. In normal days, we would never buy such things. But I couldn’t even find any used clothes.”

Eid al-Fitr — the three-day celebration beginning Wednesday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan — used to be a joyful time in Gaza. But with famine threatening Gaza amid Israel’s continuing military offensive, Palestinians there say there is little to celebrate.

Ms. Abu Awda’s family managed to take some clothes with them when they fled their home in Jabaliya two months ago. But at a checkpoint, Israeli soldiers made them throw away everything they were carrying as they walked along a dangerous road where some Palestinians had disappeared into detention and others were killed in Israeli airstrikes, she said.

“What kind of Eid is this?” Ms. Abu Awda said, adding, “We have lost so much. We have lost family and loved ones. We have lost our homes and we have lost safety. The feeling of death is with us in every moment, and the smell of death is everywhere.”

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