Ramadan brings better business to Hebron‘s Old City market

The start of Islam‘s holy month of Ramadan meant busier markets and better business in Hebron‘s Old City in the West Bank.

From qatayef to falafel, food items in particular are attracting shoppers, as people say reduced security closures encourage them to go out.

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"If there are no closures, the market would be like this on daily basis whether in Ramadan or not," said Jehad al-Fakhouri, who owns a qatayef stand.

Hebron resident Abed al-Qader al-Zatari thinks competitive prices in the Hebron‘s markets are attracting customers.

"With the good things here, people are encouraged to come since the prices here are less than the average prices so it would encourage people to come more to the Old City," Zatari said.

Many people are also making their way to the Old City to perform Ramadan night prayers known as "Taraweeh", inside the ancient Ibrahimi mosque.

Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank with a population of some 200,000.

About 1,000 Israeli settlers live in the heart of the city and for years it has been a place of religious friction between Muslims and Jews.

The religious significance of the city has made it a focal point for settlers, who are determined to expand the Jewish presence there.

Living in the heart of the city, they require intense security, with some 800 Israeli troops protecting them.

Ramadan this year began in mid-May, starting on different dates in different parts of the world and will in end in mid-June.