Palestinians gather at a live stock market, ahead of Eid al-Adha, in the center of the Gaza Strip on August 20, 2018. Eid al-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice) is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God, and cows, camels, goats and sheep are traditionally slaughtered on the holiest day. (Photo: Mahmoud Khattab/APA Images)
Palestinians in Gaza are celebrating Eid al-Adha, a four day festival for Muslims observed across the world that coincides with the seasonal pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, known as the Hajj.
Eid al-Adha, Arabic for the “festival of the sacrifice” observes the Muslim prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith where according to tradition God commanded him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. In the last moment Ismail was saved by God who replaced him with a sacrificial sheep.
In Gaza Palestinians commemorate the holiday by feasting on sheep, cows or goats, sharing sweets and gifts, and gathering for prayers.
Palestinians often seek travel outside of Gaza during the Eid holiday, however, this year Israel partially sealed the Erez Crossing on Sunday limiting travel to humanitarian cases. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told KAN Bet radio the closure was due to protests near the border fence last Friday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“It cannot be that someone will get economic benefits and not worry about the security quiet,” Lieberman said, “So the moment there was violence on Friday, immediately afterward we respond. If the violence continues, we will respond even more harshly.”