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200 Gazans injured in separate incidents on first day of Eid al-Adha

Sept. 13, 2016 2:38 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2016 6:33 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Scores of Palestinians were injured in the Gaza Strip on Monday, the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, in various circumstances related to Eid celebrations, medical sources and the Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

Thirty-three Palestinians in Gaza City sustained finger cutting injuries while slaughtering sheep for the Eid sacrifice, while two others fell from swings and sustained bruises at Eid celebrations. All were evacuated and treated, according to sources from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

In Rafah City in the the northern Gaza Strip, more than 90 Palestinians were injured when sacrificial calves attacked them during slaughtering, while others were injured during botched slaughters.

Dozens were also injured in other areas in the Gaza Strip with different wounds in similar incidents on the first day of Eid, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

Eid al-Adha -- the Feast of Sacrifice -- is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar.

The sacrifice of the animal usually takes place after Eid prayers, with families distributing the meat among relatives, friends, neighbors, and the poor.

As the near decade-long Israeli blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into poverty, the expensive ritual can be an immense financial burden for Gazan families.

As of September last year, 72 percent of all households in Gaza were struggling with food insecurity, and the number of Palestinian refugees who rely entirely on food distribution from UN agencies ballooned from 72,000 in 2000 to 868,000 in May 2014.

The Gaza Strip, ravaged by three Israeli military offensives in recent years and nearly a decade of a grueling Israeli blockade, could become uninhabitable for residents within just five years, the United Nations development agency said in 2015.

Between Israel’s last devastating offensive on the small Palestinian territory in the summer of 2014 and Eid al-Adha last year, livestock prices increased by 25 percent, the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture said at the time.

Many were forced to pay for the animal in installments, with most unable to pay the full amount of up to 2,100 shekels ($500).
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