But this year the 49-year-old police officer says he cannot afford to buy an animal for the “feast of the sacrifice” holiday, which begins next week, after the Palestinian Authority halved his salary five months ago.
“I have slaughtered a sheep every year … but this year there is no way I can. I am ashamed,” said the father of five, who declined to give his last name.
Gaza has suffered under years of blockade by Israel and Egypt, which cite security concerns for restrictions the World Bank says have severely damaged its economy. Nearly 80 percent of the enclave’s 2 million residents rely on some form of aid and over half are unemployed.