On the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, it is traditional for Muslims to slaughter an animal, usually a sheep, and share the meat with the poor and needy. This year, however, the residents of Gaza have been unable to afford to buy animals for the Eid sacrifice due to the severe shortages hitting the Strip.
The current shortage is a result of restrictions imposed by Australia on exporting animals directly to Gaza.
MEMO’s photographer in Gaza, Mohamed Asad, said that Australia has imposed the restrictions “in protest at the way the animals are treated” in Gaza. “This is the reason for the severe shortage of animals in Gazan markets,” he added.
To avoid the restrictions, Israeli animal traders have imported animals to channel to the Gaza Strip, but authorities in Gaza refused to allow the entrance of the livestock as it was infected with foot-and-mouth disease. As a result, the price of livestock has soared meaning ordinary Gazans are unable to afford this small annual luxury, Asad said.
Economic and social crises have been hitting the Strip since the introduction of the Israeli-imposed blockade 2006, which combined with the closure of crossings, delays in salary has led to people being unable to afford an Eid sacrifice this year.
The price of one kilogramme of lamb or cow’s meat in Gaza currently stands at more than $10, 25 per cent higher than previous years.
Images by MEMO photographer Mohammed Asad