Having spent many ‘Eid celebrations in the Gaza Strip, in the years since late 2008, I thought it interesting to compare ‘Eid al-Adha (and the two ‘Eid holidays in general) in Gaza to ‘Eid in Canada.
Some rather obvious observations jump out at anyone who has a sense of the collective suffering in the Gaza Strip of the last many decades, but particularly since tightened closures after Hamas’ election in 2006. Amira Hass, who writes for Ha’aretz, would point out that the closures began at least in the ’90s and steadily worsened, even though Hamas was not then in power…That the closures were, as they are now, a form of collective punishment against Palestinians, for no other reason than this is what Zionists do (my paraphrasing).
The Gaza Strip has been rendered desperately poor by the continued closed borders and ban on exports (since at least 2007), and by the Zionist bombings of Palestinian factories and businesses, and the restrictions on imports—so severe between the years of 2007-2010 that all but up to 40 items were forbidden entry into the Strip, banned goods including innocuous things like diapers, baby formula, seeds, fertilizers, medicines, A4 paper, shoes, toys…Calculations were made of the base number of calories average Palestinians in Gaza needed to exist—not to thrive or be nourished, simply to not starve. For the last many years, and including today, roughly 80% of the 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza depend on food aid to survive. These food handouts are scarcely adequate, comprising mainly flour, sugar, oil and if lucky dried chickpeas. Fruits, vegetables, fish or meat are not included. CONTINUE READING