In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, three million Palestinians live, and Ramadan activities include praying in mosques, especially the Al-Aqsa mosque, visiting and holding family gatherings, making semi-pilgrimages to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, and offering charity to impoverished and needy families.
This Ramadan is unique in that it is the first since the COVID-19 processes and limitations were lifted, which had put a pall over the ambiance and rituals of the holy month for the previous three years.
During this fasting month, it’s still necessary to see relatives and have iftar meals.
Despite the occupation and Israeli administration of Jerusalem, the Ramadan iftar cannon at Al-Aqsa Mosque remains a tradition. Every evening, it burns to signal the end of the day’s fasting and the beginning of Ramadan meal.
During Ramadan, people eat a lot of qatayef dessert, and juice, tamarind, almonds, liquorice, and carob vendors, as well as pickle vendors, are plentiful. Restaurants are also serving Ramadan supper dishes to individuals who are breaking their fast.
During the fasting month, the role of “Takaya” becomes even more significant, as it feeds low-income families with hot iftar meals.
Municipalities in significant cities, such as Ramallah, used to light the Ramadan lantern, which was usually done in Ramallah’s largest and most prominent square, with the governor, mayor, local community leaders, and a large throng of locals in attendance. Because of the anguish and fury that has gripped the West Bank since the Israeli assassination of three young men on the first day of Ramadan on April 2, there will be no lantern burning this year.
“The lighting of the lantern at the Clock Square in the heart of Ramallah will be carried out without events, in honor of the martyrs and grieving their souls,” the Ramallah municipality said in a statement.
Despite the availability of warnings via mobile devices, Al-Musaharati is still practiced in the majority of Palestinian Territories. Young people go around communities beating drums and chanting Ramadan songs in order to get people to eat the sahoor meal. Over the last two to three days of Ramadan, youngsters visit the homes of the people in their neighborhoods and receive a gift as a thank you for their efforts during the month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, worship is especially important, notably at the Al-Aqsa mosque and for the late-night prayer known as the Tarawih. Men and women worship at mosques an hour after eating the Ramadan iftar, with some mosques broadcasting the prayer over loudspeakers.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is popular with Palestinians who want to pray there. Thousands of men and women from all over the West Bank gather to the mosque on Fridays during Ramadan to say these prayers. Due to the rise in security in the Palestinian Territories, it is uncertain whether Israeli authorities will impose limitations on their access to Al-Aqsa.
The West Bank During Ramadan, Palestinians who frequent East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque support the Old City’s economy by shopping at its markets. The owners of these businesses look forward to this season all year.
Umrah journeys from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madinah Al Munawwarah have resumed after being suspended for over three years owing to the COVID-19 infection. The Umrah registration offices are seeing a lot of people, especially for the Ramadan Umrah.
Palestinians were requesting to undertake Umrah in Ramadan this year after a two-and-a-half-year break, according to Sameh Jbara, owner of the Hajj and Umrah company in the West Bank. Nonetheless, because of the huge increase in expenses, which have climbed from $282 to $493, demand is not as strong as it was before to COVID-19. This year, 6,000 people have registered to conduct Umrah during Ramadan, compared to 20,000 in previous years, he said.
“Many people are hesitant to register for Umrah because of the considerable increase in the expense,” Jabara said.
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During Ramadan, the audio-visual and print media devote a lot of time to giving advice to those who are fasting, urging them to perform acts of worship, visit their families, and give to the poor, while some prominent clerics have started using social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to communicate their religious instructions to their followers.
In sermons and spiritual lessons, Talib Al-Silwadi, one of the most prominent imams of preaching and religious guidance in the Ramallah area, tells fasting people to “pay attention to their behavior and link it to the teachings of the Islamic religion,” and to remind them of the “double reward for their worship.”
throughout the month of Ramadan.”
COVID-19’s limits and procedures, according to Al-Silwadi, have put a pall over Ramadan for the past three years. The Palestinian people, on the other hand, were used to suffering as a result of Israel’s occupation. “Before, during, and after the coronavirus, the Palestinian people lived and became accustomed to the harshest and most terrible suffering owing to the presence of the Israeli occupation,” he stated.
Al-Silwadi described the Palestinian people’s reaction to the Russian-Ukrainian war as a “exceptional wave of price increases that coincided with the start of Ramadan in the Palestinian Territories.”
During Ramadan, Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza Strip had to make an effort to visit Al-Aqsa mosque and worship there. However, Israeli officials may limit entrance to Al-Aqsa to people above the age of 60. “During Ramadan, it is critical that we pray at Al-Aqsa and do not leave it alone,” he stated.
Al-Silwadi reflected on the mood of Ramadan in the Palestinian Territories 40 to 50 years ago, adding that social and family ties were stronger and people worked together more.