Half of the Gaza Strip’s population lives below the poverty line, which is why purchasing meat for the Eid al-Adha holiday that commences on Tuesday is beyond the means of many of the Palestinian enclave’s residents.
On Tuesday, Muslims around the world will mark one of the most important religious holidays in Islam, Eid al-Adha, or the festival of the sacrifice, that honours the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.
Meat As a Luxury
But for many Muslims in Gaza, that holiday, where worshippers are expected to slaughter an animal to commemorate the deed of Ibrahim, who ended up sacrificing a lamb instead of his son, is simply unaffordable.
Buying a sheep in Gaza would cost $400. A kilo of meat is sold for $12 in local markets, but in the Strip, where the average monthly salary is $300, eating meat is considered a luxury, not a staple.
Some have vowed to change that. Six years ago, Walid al Hattab, a 55-year-old father of six from the al-Shejaeya refugee camp in the east of Gaza city, started an initiative aimed at distributing meat to underprivileged families in the Strip.
The economic situation in Gaza has never been stable but it’s become significantly worse since 2007, after Hamas, an Islamic group deemed a terrorist organisationt by Israel, seized control over the Strip, ousting the officials of Fatah.
In response, israel imposed a land and naval blockade over the Strip, pushing…