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Ramadan in Palestine

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Palestinians line up at a checkpoint

Bethlehem - PNN - August 1 marked the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims around the world. In Palestine, this month of Ramadan happens in particular conditions.

The month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam; one of the five fundamental religious obligations for Muslims along with the sincere faith in God, the five daily prayers, alms and the Pilgrimage to Mecca.

During Ramadan, one cannot eat or drink and has to stay away from all selfish or harmful thoughts and actions from Fajr, the sunrise prayer, till Maghrib, the sunset prayer. The purposes are twofold: understanding the less fortunate by feeling hunger and thirst, and focusing on spirituality and the divine.

The month of Ramadan is also supposed to be a month of friendliness, reunion and generosity.

In Palestine, Ramadan is tainted by the Israeli occupation. The Israeli army tends to be more brutal in reaction to the unity of the Muslim Palestinians. The controls at the checkpoints are increased and intensified and more forces can be seen in the big cities.

In Jerusalem, the Arab-Israelis are under very strict watch in the mosque of Al-Aqsa and many people are often forbidden to enter the holy site for what Israel calls "security reasons." (?)

In an aggressive environment, Muslim Palestinians try to live by the teachings of their religion and in peace with the other communities during this month of piety and compassion.

Source: PNN

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