On the First Friday of Ramadan, Great March of Return Continues

Palestinians Have to Spend Ramadan Amidst Fear and Deprivation

ACTNews, GAZA – Ramadan in Gaza is marked with scarcity and fear, as told by Ahmed Abu Artema, a Palestinian activist and journalist in Gaza. Dozens of Palestinians were killed by the military assault last week when the Muslims are preparing for Ramadan. Among the fatalities were two pregnant women and a 16-month-old infant.

Like all parents in Gaza, Ahmed admitted that he was at a loss for how to comfort and calm his children each time an Israeli bomb drops. With every explosion, my children run to me in terror. I try to placate them by saying, ‘Those explosions are far away from our home. They’re near the sea and they won’t come near us,’ wrote Ahmed.

He knew he was hiding the truth just to alleviate the negative impacts on his children. Ahmed realized that no one in Gaza is actually safe, and Israel has killed many children their same age.

“Israel controls our borders and our ability to move, so we are prisoners on our own land. We are denied the right to travel freely to find work or pursue our education, to visit our families in other towns, or even to seek treatment at a hospital. Our youth unemployment hovers at a staggering 70 percent because Israel bombs our businesses and cuts off our trade. Gaza’s young people are denied even a flicker of hope,” stated Ahmed.

Not wanting to give up against the injustice committed by Israel, the weekly Great Return March Protest continues on the first Friday of Ramadan. Thousands of Palestinians gathered along the border despite the fact that they are fasting. Their hope is that this Ramadan will bring a great positive change for the people of Palestine.

However, Israel continues to use repression against the protesters. As reported by Reliefweb, during the latest Great Return March protest, Israel killed one protester and wounded 50 others, of them are ten children, two women, one paramedics, and one journalist. 21 of those injured were wounded by live fire and 17 by tear gas canisters.

Ahmed was right, this Ramadan is a month of mourning for many people in Palestine, including him and his family. As the restricting blockade continues, the Palestinians have no other way but to resist and continue fighting for their land and freedom through the weekly Great Return March protest.

“Israel cannot control our lives and our land forever. Palestinians, like all people in the world, want to live free,” Ahmed stated. []

 Picture Sources: ACT, Democracy Now