The PA has called on Palestinian police to arrest anyone seen eating in public, including Christians, during Islam’s month of Ramadan, which started this week.
On May 21, the PA Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Chairman of the [Palestinian] Supreme Fatwa Council Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called on the owners of restaurants and cafés to close them during the daytime hours of Ramadan in order to preserve the month’s sanctity, WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, reported.
The Grand Mufti, the highest PA religious official, ordered the PA police “to act against anyone who breaks the fast in public, in preparation for legal steps against them.”
District Governor of Jenin Ibrahim Ramadan also issued a notice ahead of Ramadan, PNN, an independent Palestinian news agency, reported on May 25. “It is forbidden for all of the restaurants and cafés to serve food or drink during the period of the fast and not to show any sight that would harm the sanctity of this month,” he declared.
Although it was not mentioned specifically, in previous years these PA religious restrictions against public eating were enforced against Christians as well.
On Monday, the head of the Ramallah general prosecution office, Alaa Tamimi, said those caught violating the fast would be jailed for one month.
In the Hebron district, Palestinian police arrested three men on Monday who were caught eating in a public place. A police statement said they were arrested for “paying no respect to the feelings of those fasting.”
The three were referred to the general prosecution to face legal proceedings.
Palestinian police arrested a man in Tubas on Wednesday for “violating the sacredness of Ramadan” by eating in public during the month holy to Muslims.
Police said in the statement that they saw a man “breaking the fast” publicly and arrested him, and that he would face legal consequences for the act, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
Source: Palestinian Media Watch