May 16, 2018 / 6:55 PM / 2 months ago

Gaza Palestinians fear a bleak Ramadan lies ahead, amid poverty and killings

GAZA (Reuters) - On the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, many Gazans on Wednesday were worried about how they will put food on the table.

A Palestinian demonstrator reacts as others run from tear gas fired by Israeli forces during a protest marking the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

With dozens of Palestinian protesters killed in recent weeks during a border face-off between demonstrators and Israeli troops, and with 80 percent of Gaza’s 2 million population dependent on aid, the mood is bleak.

“It is sad and depressing. In every home there is an injured person, in every home there is a martyr. All the mothers are sad, there is no nice Ramadan atmosphere at all,” said Sabreen al-Turk.

Nohaa Shomar, a mother living in the Beach refugee camp, said she cannot afford meat and feeds her family of nine with only rice and grains.

It is usually a time of celebration, but many business owners are barely staying afloat and say that no-one is buying their goods.

“The situation is really difficult, whether Ramadan is here or not, there are economic difficulties,” said merchant Fayez al-Bitar. “How are we supposed to afford food?”

Editing by Stephen Farrell

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