Israeli forces detained at least six Palestinians in predawn raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Sunday, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
An Israeli army spokesperson said that three Palestinians were detained in the village of al-Mughayyir in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, while in the southern Bethlehem district, one Palestinian was detained in the town of Tuqu and two were detained in Beit Fajjar, according to Ma’an News.
The raids came as Muslims in the occupied Palestinian territory celebrated Eid al-Fitr. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Hussein, congratulated all Muslims and the Palestinian people, inside the Palestinian territory and in the diaspora, in a statement Saturday night, expressing hope that by the next Eid all the Palestinian wishes of freedom and independence will be achieved.
Meanwhile, as the detention raids were being conducted, the Israeli army spokesperson’s office published a video on its Twitter page describing “how the holiest time in the Islamic year is celebrated in the IDF,” with one interviewee saying in a voiceover that “The IDF respects all Muslim soldiers and provides all those who need with meals during the Ramadan fast.”
The Israeli army spokesman for Arab media Avichay Adraee also Tweeted out a video wishing Muslims a happy Eid, as did the spokesperson for COGAT, the agency responsible for enforcing Israeli policies in the occupied territory, saying: “Wishing Muslims across Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and around the world a happy and peaceful #EidAlFitr #EidMubarak.”
Ramadan this year was marked by continuing nightly detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory, ongoing restrictions on freedom of movement for Palestinians, and an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, after Israel drastically cut electricity supplies to the besieged coastal enclave, leaving Palestinians there with just two hours of power a day.
According to Ma’an estimates, Israeli forces detained some 250 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the course of Ramadan, including dozens of minors, former hunger strikers Muhammad Allan and Anas Shadid, a former minister, and a blind man.
Meanwhile, in the wake of a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities revoked Ramadan family visitation permits issued to 250,000 Palestinians, and rounded up hundreds of Palestinians with West Bank IDs in Jerusalem and deported them back to the West Bank.
Israel also severely limited permits traditionally given to elderly Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to travel to Jerusalem to perform prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Only 100 Palestinians were allowed to make the weekly visit, just half of those who were typically allowed to travel to Al-Aqsa throughout the year as part of the ceasefire deal between Palestinian militant groups and Israel which ended the 2014 war on Gaza.
This Ramadan, Israeli authorities also completely cancelled permits allowing residents of Gaza to visit their families in the occupied West Bank and Israel that were issued during the previous two years.