Jordanians will begin their annual New Year’s Day festivities in Gaza on Sunday, with some participating in their own team.
The city of Beit Hanoun, near the Gaza border, will host the city’s first basketball game, as part of the city-wide celebration.
The Palestinian sports association, the Palestine Basketball Association, has planned to hold the first game, which will be played on Sunday at the city council, in addition to the official kickoff of the annual “Hajj” or “celebration” for the first time in Beit Haroun.
The annual celebrations are intended to be a chance for Palestinians to bond with each other and express their feelings and feelings of hope and resilience, said Shadi Kanaan, the executive director of the Palestinian sports associations.
“We hope that we will see a huge number of players participating,” Kanaann said, noting that the number of participating teams has grown since the beginning of the year.
“This is a great opportunity for everyone.”
The Jerusalem-based Palestinian daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Saturday that the Jerusalem-headquartered Jerusalem Municipality was planning to host a basketball game at the municipality’s Beit Jala stadium, located in the city center.
The report did not specify the venue, but the Palestinian Sports Association has said it would be a stadium used for “basketball, soccer and soccer-related activities.”
“I hope that this event will be a catalyst for the city to build on the positive momentum and continue the positive role played by the Jerusalem Municipalities in the reconstruction of the West Bank and Gaza,” Kannaan said.
The municipality has been working on reconstruction projects for decades, but it is not yet clear how long it will take to finish reconstruction projects.
“The rebuilding process in Jerusalem will be done by itself,” Kannan said, referring to the Palestinian Authority.
“As long as the reconstruction projects take longer than expected, the work of reconstruction will not be completed until 2022.”
During the last months of the current Israeli military occupation, the Gaza Strip experienced several deadly outbreaks of Palestinian-Israel violence.
In January, Israeli forces killed 13 Palestinians, including five children, and wounded dozens more during clashes in Rafah and the southern Gaza Strip.
On February 2, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, targeting a number of Palestinian militant targets including homes, shops, olive groves and markets.
The offensive, which began on January 26, targeted the coastal enclave of Gaza, and has since killed at least 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians.
The operation was met with international condemnation and outrage.
Israeli forces have also killed over 1,000 Palestinians and wounded another 6,000 since the operation began.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the country’s military will not continue with the offensive.
“Today is the day we begin to end the incitement against the state of Israel, which has been used for many years to destabilize the region and undermine stability in the region,” Netanyahu said.
“That is why, today, we announce the decision to withdraw from the offensive and the withdrawal of forces from the Gaza strip.”
The move comes amid a growing international push to end Israeli military operations in the occupied West Bank, including Gaza, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on the Palestinian leadership to stop “any attempts to undermine the peace process.”
“Today’s announcement is a significant step toward ending the incursion into Gaza and a clear signal of the end of the incursions into the West.
The international community has an opportunity to end this incursion,” Guterre said in a statement.
“It is now clear that the only solution to the occupation and occupation-related violence in the West is a two-state solution that protects both Israelis and Palestinians.”
“The decision to begin this process has been taken by all the parties involved,” Knaan said of the announcement.
“I would like to thank the international community for its efforts and the efforts of the international leadership to end these incursions.
I am confident that we can find a way to end it.”