Embassy move, Gaza crisis make for somber start to Palestinians’ Ramadan

Source: Religion News Service

JERUSALEM (RNS) – Most years, the eve of Ramadan brings a flood of shoppers to Abdallah Sarendah’s candy and food shop, located on a busy street opposite the walls of the Old City in East Jerusalem. This year, there was barely a trickle.

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“There’s a general strike so almost every store is closed and most people are staying home today,” Sarendah said, eyeing his nearly empty shop, which was allowed to remain open because it sells food.    

Palestinian leaders ordered the public to shutter stores, schools and government offices on Tuesday (May 15) to mourn the lives of 60 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces at the Israel-Gaza border the day before. They were protesting Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and Israel’s partial blockade of Gaza on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding – what Palestinians call the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”

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