From Syria to Sudan, the Center East celebrates the bittersweet Eid within the shadow of struggle

From Syria to Sudan, the Center East celebrates the bittersweet Eid within the shadow of struggle

BEIRUT – Because the Center East celebrates the primary day of the spiritual vacation Eid al-Fitr on Wednesday, the area stays fraught with battle in Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and tensions in gentle of the continuing struggle between Israel and Hamas in Gaza Strip.

Eid al-Fitr, which interprets to the ‘Pageant of Breaking the Quick’, is certainly one of Islam’s holiest holidays. It marks the top of the month-long fasting throughout Ramadan, the Islamic holy month throughout which Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad acquired the teachings of the Quran, in line with Islamic traditions.

Muslims world wide rejoice at the present time by performing prayers and making ready meals to rejoice with members of the family for 3 days. Mother and father purchase new garments for his or her youngsters and family provide them items and cash.

Regardless of the battle, loss of life and destruction, Muslims within the area nonetheless rejoice in their very own manner.

Palestinian territories

Within the Gaza Strip, Eid al-Fitr is overshadowed by the struggle between Israel and Hamas, which has been raging for greater than six months. In accordance with Gaza’s Well being Ministry, greater than 33,000 individuals, largely ladies and youngsters, have been killed because the struggle started on October 7. The UN refugee company UNRWA estimates that round 1.7 million others have been pushed from their houses, with the bulk crammed into the southern metropolis of Rafah, amid the prospect of an impending Israeli floor invasion.

The humanitarian scenario has reached catastrophic ranges amid the suffocating Israeli siege and relentless bombardment. Entry to assist, meals, water and medication has been restricted, which has additional deteriorated the circumstances of Gazans, with the UN warning of a looming famine.

Individuals can’t purchase meals or new garments for his or her youngsters, which was as soon as frequent throughout Eid.

Movies circulating on-line confirmed tons of of Palestinians performing morning prayers in shelters and on the ruins of destroyed mosques.

In a video message greeting Muslims on Eid al-Fitr posted on X on Wednesday, UN Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres mentioned he was heartbroken that Muslims within the Gaza Strip, Sudan and elsewhere won’t be able to rejoice due to wars and famine.

UNRWA Commissioner Normal Philippe Lazzarini additionally lamented the scenario of Gazans this Eid and known as for an finish to the struggle.

“This Eid comes as Gazans endure six months of some of the brutal wars in latest historical past. It is vitally tough to rejoice within the midst of dehumanization, ache and grieving hearts,” he wrote on the X platform.

Within the West Financial institution, the primary day of Eid al-Fitr was marked by a number of Israeli raids and arrests throughout the territory.

Regardless of Israeli restrictions, almost 60,000 Palestinian worshipers gathered at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest website, to carry out Eid prayers, Palestinian Authority-affiliated information company WAFA mentioned.

The scenario within the West Financial institution was already at a boiling level earlier than the struggle in Gaza, amid a wave of settler assaults and armed operations by Palestinians towards Israeli forces and settlers.

The Israeli military has stepped up its raids on cities and villages and expanded its arrest marketing campaign because the begin of the struggle, in an effort to stop the scenario from exploding.

The Palestinian Fee for Detainees and Ex-Detainee Affairs mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday that 8,165 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel within the West Financial institution since October 7. This consists of 272 ladies and greater than 500 minors.

In accordance with the UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 440 Palestinians, together with not less than 110 youngsters, had been killed in clashes with the Israeli military or settler assaults within the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem, between October 7. and April 1.

South Lebanon

In the meantime, mosques within the cities and cities of southern Lebanon are seeing massive gatherings of worshipers on the primary day of Eid al-Fitr, amid continued Israeli airstrikes and plane hovering over the border space.

Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged hearth alongside the border because the Gaza struggle broke out, and greater than 363 individuals, largely Hezbollah fighters, have been killed within the combating, in line with an Agence France-Presse rely. In accordance with the military, eight civilians and ten Israeli troopers have been killed by Hezbollah hearth in Israel.

The battle has displaced residents on either side of the border. In Lebanon, greater than 86,600 individuals have fled their houses, in line with UNRWA, whereas Israeli estimates say about 60,000 Israelis have been expelled from northern Israel.

The households of Hezbollah fighters killed through the battle visited the graves of their family members in southern Lebanon to commemorate the primary day of Eid.

In the meantime, the same old bustle and joyful environment of Eid appears to be absent from the markets and public locations, not solely because of the Israeli airstrikes, but in addition the financial disaster that has plagued the nation since 2019.

In an announcement launched on Wednesday to mark Eid al-Fitr, Aroldo Lazaro, head of the United Nations Interim Drive in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrolling the border space, warned that the “hazard of escalation is actual.”

He known as on either side to finish hostilities and confused that Ramadan “ought to be a time of peace and reflection.”


The scenes are comparable in neighboring Syria, the place individuals pray in mosques throughout the nation.

Within the northeast, in line with native media, youngsters stroll by the neighborhoods of their finest garments to greet individuals on Eid.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out the Eid al-Fitr prayer on the Al-Takwa Mosque in Damascus on Wednesday, the official information company SANA reported.

Kids take rides on the primary day of the Muslim vacation Eid al-Fitr, which falls on the finish of the holy month of Ramadan, within the metropolis of Ariha in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, on April 10, 2024 (Photograph by AAREF WATAD/AFP through Getty Photographs)

The Eid comes because the Gaza struggle has additionally unfold to Syria, the place Iranian proxy teams have been launching rockets and drones into Israeli territory since October. Israel has retaliated by attacking quite a few Iran-linked targets in Syria.


In Iran, Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used his Eid al-Fitr sermon to repeat his threats towards Israel over the struggle on Gaza.

“In the event that they assault our consulate, it means our territory has been attacked,” Khamenei mentioned in his speech on the Grand Mosque in Tehran.

“The evil regime has made a mistake and should be punished and can be punished,” he additional warned.

Tensions between Israel and Iran have been operating excessive since Israeli airstrikes final week close to the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Iran, certainly one of Hamas’s closest allies, supported the motion’s cross-border assault on southern Israel, which killed almost 1,200 individuals and took one other 240 hostage by Hamas militants.


Celebratory indicators are lacking this Eid al-Fitr in Sudan, amid the continuing struggle between the Sudanese military and the paramilitary Fast Help Forces (RSF).

The nation has been devastated because the battle broke out in April 2023. Almost 8 million of Sudan’s 51 million individuals have been pressured from their houses in what UN companies describe because the world’s worst displacement disaster. Famine additionally looms amid deteriorating humanitarian circumstances.

In a speech on the event of Eid al-Fitr from a mosque in al-Qadarif state in southeastern Sudan, military chief Normal Abdel Fattah al-Burhan vowed to proceed the battle towards what he described as “rebels.”

“Our subsequent Eid can be with out the Janjaweed,” he mentioned, referring to the RSF, which emerged from the notorious militia.

Elsewhere within the area, Muslims maintain marches in solidarity with Gaza after their Eid prayers.

In Yemen, hundreds of individuals took to the streets within the southwestern metropolis of Taiz after praying, chanting slogans in help of Palestinians in Gaza and holding Palestinian flags.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis have launched a number of drone and missile assaults on business ships within the Purple Sea that they are saying are linked to Israel, following the Israeli offensive in Gaza. In response, the US has attacked a number of Houthi targets on Yemeni territory.

Related scenes could be seen in Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, in addition to in Turkey.

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