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Gazans cautious through Eid calm as Palestinian killed late Sunday

July 28, 2014 10:15 P.M. (Updated: July 29, 2014 10:50 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinians in Gaza remained cautious on the first day of Eid al-Fitr Monday after Israeli shelling on southern Gaza the night before killed a Palestinian and injured another.

Hussein Hassan Abu al-Naja, 65, was killed and another Palestinian was critically injured late Sunday as Israeli forces shelled eastern Khan Younis, said Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Additionally, Imad Jamil al-Abed al-Bardawil, 44, succumbed to wounds he sustained days ago during Israeli airstrikes, al-Qidra said.

A total of 16 Palestinians were killed on Sunday.

Although violence in Gaza has considerably lightened since Saturday, when both sides honored a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire, an extension of the truce failed to materialize Sunday. Gaza factions initially refused to extend the ceasefire, then belatedly accepted, but neither side stopped firing and Israel later refused to renew the truce.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Israel's refusal to officially accept a ceasefire on Eid demonstrated "disregard for Muslims' feelings and prayers."

"The current relative calm is not a result of any deal," Gaza interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm said in a statement, urging Palestinians to be cautious while celebrating Eid.

Many Palestinians are expected to take advantage of the quiet period to bury their dead at noon on Monday.

A Ma'an reporter noted that instead of opening their houses to accept guests to celebrate Eid, Palestinians would be accepting visitors paying condolences.

"What Eid is there when children are being killed every day?" asked 15-year-old Majd Yassin.

In the center of Gaza City, a few hundred men, women and children arrived for early-morning prayers at the Al-Omari mosque, bowing and solemnly whispering their worship before swiftly dispersing.

Instead going on to relatives' houses to feast and celebrate, some went straight home, and while others went to local cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead.

"After the destruction and war we've seen here, there's no Eid for us now," said 44-year-old man who gave his name only as Issa.

"We pray, honor our dead, and then go home."

Some 1,035 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of Israel's offensive on Gaza, according to al-Qidra's numbers.

He says 236 of them are children, 93 off them women, and 47 of them elderly. Rights groups estimate 80 percent of the dead are civilians.

An additional 6,233 Palestinians have been injured, al-Qidra says.

AFP contributed to this report.
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