Palestinian police are working overtime enforcing Shariah law’s fast during Ramadan on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
At least four people, including Christians, have been arrested so far for eating in public before sunset since last week when the monthlong Muslim holy days began.
The West Bank, which has a mixed population of Muslims and Christians, has traditionally been more relaxed during Ramadan and Christian-owned restaurants and businesses remain open in cities such as Ramallah and Bethlehem.
But last week Palestinian Authority prosecutor Alaa Tamimi announced that anyone breaking the fast could face a month in prison. Palestinian law, amended in 2011 but which dates back to Jordanian rule in the 1960s, dictates that those caught breaking the fast are to be jailed for a month, or fined $21.
Since then, Palestinian police arrested a man in the northern West Bank town of Tubas for breaking the fast and another three men in Hebron for eating in a public place. A police statement said its officers had detained the three for “paying no respect to the feelings of those fasting.”