Rising hostilities cast pall on Eid

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 14 May 2021

Muslims around the world marked a somber Eid al-Fitr yesterday amid rising hostilities between Israel and Palestinians.

The three-day festival, which signals the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with shopping, family feasts and prayers.

But casting a pall on the festival, already subdued due to the pandemic, was deadly violence between Israel and Palestinians.

Tensions soared over Israel's planned eviction of Palestinians from a district in annexed east Jerusalem.

Echoing much of the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia's King Salman voiced scathing criticism of Israel in a call with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The king "stressed Saudi Arabia's strong condemnation of the Israeli measures in Jerusalem," the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

In Afghanistan, a three-day Eid ceasefire agreed by the warring Taleban and government came into force, offering a glimmer of hope to Afghans after weeks of violence.

Fighting has intensified since the United States missed the May 1 deadline, agreed with the Taleban last year, to withdraw all of its troops.

But tragedy befell Bangladesh, where five died yesterday on a ferry carrying more than a thousand passengers, officials said. The south Asian nation has recently seen an exodus as many defy the lockdown to head home for Eid.

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