The Imam of the Omar Al-Khatab Mosque in the West Bank city of
Bethlehem made a speech Monday after sunrise in celebration of the
commencement of the Islamic feast, ‘Eid el Fitr, that called for all
Palestinians to stop the infighting and unify against their common enemy, the Israeli occupation.
Over 1,000 Muslims gathered in Manger Square at 6am to listen to the traditional ‘Eid prayers and a religious speech given by the local Imam. 

The Imam reminded the worshippers that national unity is the only way to resist the occupation. He criticized those who vowed to resume fighting one another following the ‘Eid holiday, sending a clear message to political rivals Fatah and Hamas in reference of the recent blood letting between the two parties that has killed 19 people so far.

“Have you forgotten the occupation that is tearing our land apart and that is tearing our children apart?” he asked, “Did we fight the occupation all these years, did we cover our land with blood only to end up fighting each other?”

The Imam also condemned the international community for standing by while the Palestinian people suffer, referencing the international aid boycott that has left many hungry.

Eid el Fitr is a three day Islamic feast that celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan. After fasting for 60 days from sunrise to sunset, Muslims enjoy nearly a week of visiting family and friends, sharing traditional ‘Eid sweets and gift giving. Muslims also use the time to visit the graves of their loved ones.

The dates of Ramadan and ‘Eid el Fitr begin earlier each year as the holidays coincide with the sighting of the crescent moon. It is viewed as a special time for the family and signifies a happy time for everyone.