Cash-strapped Palestinians struggle to celebrate Eid

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SHAFAQNA - Residents of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem marked Eid al-Fitr – the three-day festival that follows Ramadan – by buying new clothes and toys for their children, despite difficult economic circumstances.

“For my children, new clothes, candy and toys are the essence of Eid,” Mohamed Naji, a 48-year-old father of three, told Anadolu Agency.

“Each day of Eid, they wake up early in the morning to enjoy their new gifts,” he said.

Naji added, however, that – due to the difficult economic circumstances in the occupied territories – this year’s Eid was proving a burden for many parents.

“Prices are too high,” he lamented. “This month, I had to spend all my savings to meet my family’s needs.”

Riyad Zughayyar, a 65-year-old clothing vendor in the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil (Hebron), said that business was slower than usual this Eid.

“All the traffic on the streets doesn’t reflect the reality of the situation,” he told Anadolu Agency. “The hard economic situation that the Palestinian people are currently going through has badly affected sales.”

Kareema Ayyad, for her part, a 36-year-old mother of four, is buying clothes for her children this year from Palestinian vendors in Jerusalem’s Old City.

“I have decided to buy clothes for my children from Palestinian vendors in Jerusalem so as to support the city’s embattled residents,” she told Anadolu Agency.

“The Israeli government is trying to cut East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank,” she said. “We must help the city’s Palestinian inhabitants however we can.”

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