Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are observing the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in an atmosphere of grief and terror amid Israel’s relentless attacks on the blockaded coastal sliver, which have left about 1,200 dead, Press TV reports.
Gazans are using the term “Martyr Eid” in reference to the event marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan given the fact that every family in Gaza has been affected by the ongoing Israeli aggression.
Brushing aside calls from the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, the Israeli regime vowed late Monday to escalate and prolong the three-week-old slaughter in the Gaza Strip.
The warning made it clear that areas in the impoverished Palestinian enclave, notably the eastern Gaza City neighborhoods of Shejaiya and Zeitun as well the northern Gaza towns of Jabaliya, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya, would be turned into free-fire zones with anyone remaining behind treated as an enemy combatant.
The UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA reported last week that Israel has decreed fully 43 percent of Gaza as off limits to civilians.
This comes as there is actually nowhere safe for people to go, with over 167,000 Gazans already having fled their homes to seek refuge in schools and facilities run by the UNRWA.
Meanwhile, Egypt is refusing to open the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip to allow injured Palestinians to seek treatment at Egyptian hospitals amid Israel’s escalating military offensive.
Since July 8, Israeli warplanes have been pounding numerous sites in the Gaza Strip, demolishing houses and burying families in the rubble. Israeli forces also began a ground offensive against the impoverished Palestinian land on July 17.
The overall death toll among the Palestinians in more than three weeks of Israeli attacks has neared 1,200. More than 6,700 others have been injured.