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Palestinian man arrested for eating publicly during Ramadan

May 31, 2017 3:55 P.M. (Updated: May 31, 2017 3:58 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian police arrested a man in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas on Wednesday for “violating the sacredness of Ramadan,” by eating in public during the holy month. 

Police said in the statement that a police patrol had seen a man “breaking the fast” publicly and arrested him, and that the man would face legal consequences for the act. 

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims through fasting from food and drink from dawn until sunset. 

On Monday, head of the Ramallah general prosecution office Alaa Tamimi said that those who are caught breaking fast during the holy month would be jailed for one month. The prosecution, he added, would question the suspects, and pending their indictment would refer them to Palestine’s magistrate court, according to Palestinian law. 

In the Hebron district of the southern West Bank, Palestinian police arrested three men on Monday after they were also caught eating in a public place. A police statement noted that the three were arrest for “paying no respect to the feelings of those fasting.” The three were referred to the general prosecution to face legal proceedings. 

Article 275 of the Palestinian penal code, amended in 2011, notes that breaking fast publicly during Ramadan prompts a punishment up to 30 days in prison, or a fine up to 15 Jordanian dinars ($21). 

It remained unclear whether the law would also apply to Palestine’s Christian minority, and if not, how Palestinian police would discern between Palestinian Muslims and Christians eating publicly during Ramadan.
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