The bombing intersects with the sound of the call to prayer at dawn on the first day of Ramadan in Gaza

Abeer Abu Shama placed a single plate containing a piece of cheese and held a loaf of bread in her hand as she sat close to her four-year-old daughter in front of a small table to eat the suhoor meal on the first night of Ramadan, to a table that was empty of her husband, two sons, and her eldest daughter, all of whom were killed in an Israeli bombing five weeks ago.

It is the first Ramadan that the 34-year-old Palestinian has lived without her family, who were displaced from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south, where her husband, the two boys, and the eldest daughter met their inevitable fate in an Israeli raid that killed them in their shelter since their arrival to the west of Rafah, fleeing to what they thought was the safest location in the Strip. Gaza.

Abeer told the Arab World News Agency that she no longer knew what the days had in store for her “after everything was gone.” She said over the phone shortly before the dawn call to prayer, local time: “Ramadan is sad, I swear. I don’t know what to say. We lived through a lot of wars and saw a lot of things like this… but I never imagined that I would spend the rest of my life without my husband and children.”

Abeer’s late husband and her children are among 31,000 people killed by Israeli bombing since the outbreak of the current round of fighting, the fiercest between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement, on October 7th. The fighting also injured more than 70,000 people.

Today, the remaining people of Gaza fear more hunger during the month of Ramadan in light of the scarcity of food and water as the Israeli war continues, which has entered its sixth month.

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), said in late February that the threat of famine in the northern Gaza Strip could be avoided if there was a real political will to deliver aid and provide the necessary protection. But he explained that the agency’s calls and warnings received no response.

Last Friday, United Nations Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in a statement on the “X” platform that more than half a million people in Gaza are on the brink of famine, confirming that there have been deaths due to hunger.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that about 20 people died of malnutrition and dehydration in Kamal Adwan and Al-Shifa hospitals in the north, most of them children.

The bombing disrupts the dawn call to prayer

The sound of the Israeli bombing contradicted the sound of the dawn call to prayer, which the remaining residents of Gaza were anticipating to begin fasting in a month whose elements of faith they were accustomed to living in mosques, of which nothing remains of the bombing today but rubble.

Shortly before the dawn call to prayer on the first day of the month of fasting, Palestine TV reported that there were dead and wounded in a raid carried out by Israeli warplanes on a house east of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

This was not the only bombing that was monitored on the night of the first day of Ramadan. Al-Aqsa TV channel reported that Israeli warplanes bombed the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Palestinians buy food to eat the suhoor meal before fasting during the holy month of Ramadan in Rafah (AP)

It was not immediately clear which target was bombed by Israeli aircraft in the camp, which has been subjected repeatedly to Israeli air and artillery attacks since the start of the current war.

In Khan Yunis, the sound was not a bombing. Rather, the Palestinian Information Center says that clashes, which it described as fierce, broke out between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces in Bani Suhaila. The center stated that the clashes are taking place west of Al-Sharqiya police station.

Shortly after dawn, explosions of unknown cause or nature rocked areas south of Khan Yunis, according to what was reported by the Palestinian Shehab News Agency.

But those dreaming of mercy ignored the bombing and explosions and rushed to what remained of the rubble of their mosques in Rafah to perform Tarawih prayers on the first night of Ramadan.

Worshipers say that they are committed to performing Tarawih prayers in open squares and among the ruins of homes and mosques.

Omar Fathi Al-Hamayda, the imam of Al-Farouq Mosque in Al-Shaboura Camp in the city of Rafah, said: “Thank God, on the first night of the blessed month of Ramadan, we pray in the open and in the street because of the occupation’s bombing of Al-Farouq Mosque in Al-Shaboura neighborhood.”

Ramadan decorations in the tents of the displaced in Rafah (Arab World News Agency)

Some also took upon themselves the task of decorating the displacement tents with distinctive Ramadan decorations in the hope of bringing some joy to the children living there.

Biden’s pledges and threats to Israel

While US President Joe Biden was responsible for consoling the Palestinians suffering from a war waged by the Israeli ally five months and a few days ago, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that his army would transfer the residents of Rafah to other areas in the Gaza Strip before starting a ground operation that the army has been threatening for weeks.

Katz added that Israel does not intend to harm civilians, according to what the commission reported.

But CNN quoted two American sources as saying that the Biden administration does not expect the Israeli forces to immediately expand the scope of their military operations in the Gaza Strip to extend south to Rafah with the start of the month of Ramadan.

The network said that Israeli War Council member Benny Gantz warned during his visit to Washington earlier this month of the possibility of Israel carrying out a military operation in Rafah if a temporary truce agreement was not reached under which prisoners would be exchanged with the Hamas movement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that he intends to launch the operation in Rafah whether an agreement is concluded or not.

In a White House statement, Biden said that his country will continue to lead international efforts to deliver more humanitarian aid to more than two million people who have been suffering from the siege for months in the Gaza Strip.

He added in a statement published by the White House on the first day of Ramadan that America will continue to work with Israel to expand aid delivery operations to the Gaza Strip by land.

He pointed out that Washington will continue to work “non-stop” to reach an immediate and sustainable ceasefire for at least 6 weeks.

He added: “We will continue to work towards a future of stability, security and peace that includes the two-state solution, which is the only path to lasting peace.”

But a ceasefire has been difficult so far, even for one day, with no agreement being reached between Hamas and Israel despite ongoing Egyptian-Qatari mediation rounds.

The head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said in a television speech on Sunday that the movement – which surprised Israel with a surprise attack on October 7 – absolutely does not want to sign an agreement with Israel that does not end the war on the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh held the Israeli side responsible for not reaching an agreement, but stressed the movement’s openness to “the continuation of negotiations or any formulas that end the war on Gaza,” noting that the movement showed “wide flexibility” in all sessions and dialogues related to the negotiations, considering that Israel “evades giving guarantees.” “Especially clear in the ceasefire.”

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