May 16, 2018 / 6:59 PM / 7 months ago

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

Palestinians walk as they shop ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, in the old city of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

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.

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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