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Pleasure grounds feel the heat of Israel's war on Gaza

Few Gazans are showing up at pleasure grounds to celebrate the minor feast, which has started here as well as in many other Islamic countries on Monday

Pleasure grounds feel the heat of Israel's war on Gaza


Gaza's amusement parks are like ghost towns while Israel continues to pound the Palestinian strip.

This should be a time of celebration for the people of the densely-populated tiny enclave, but Gaza's parks, gardens and pleasure grounds are seeing no signs of this celebration.

Few Gazans are showing up at these places to celebrate the minor feast, which has started here as well as in many other Islamic countries on Monday.

Only the roaring of Israel's military planes in the skies and the thundering of the rockets and missiles fired by these planes can be heard here.

Destruction also manifests itself everywhere on the streets of Gaza that buzzed with life some time back in the near past.

Gaza's commercial shops are also all closed down, while children who should be here in the parks and the gardens to celebrate the feast are staying at home for fear of falling victim to one of the incessant Israeli strikes.

Some ten children who were playing at a park like this one in the western Gaza City Al-Shati refugee camp were killed by an Israeli strike on Monday.

"The feast was always a good occasion for us to make money and offer jobs for scores of unemployed people," Mohamed Shamallakh, the owner of Sharm Park, Gaza's largest amusement Park, told Anadolu Agency.

"The war is, however, bringing us major losses," he added.

Around 40 percent of Gaza's labor force was unemployed during the first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year, according to the Palestinians Statistics Centre.

Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with fierce aerial bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from the strip, leaving 1191 people dead and more than 7000 others injured.

The vast majority of the dead and injured victims are civilians: children, women and elderly people. 

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rocket at Israeli cities in response to relentless Israeli bombardments.

According to official Israeli figures, 53 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed since the hostilities began.

Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long operation "Cast Lead."

Shamallakh said this is the first time in years Gaza's children and families are staying away from his park.

"Children used to wait for the feast to go out and celebrate," Shamallakh said.

"The war is, however, turning the feast into an occasion with no joy or content," he added.

By Mohamed Maged 

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