(NEWSnet/AP) — Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday Wednesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

But for some, the events were overshadowed by the worsening crisis in Gaza and Israel’s expected military offensive in Rafah city after six months of war.

In a holiday message, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent support to Gaza, which he called a “bleeding wound on the conscience of humanity.”

In Istanbul, some of the thousands of worshipers at the Aya Sofya Mosque carried Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in support of residents of Gaza, where the United Nations warns that more than a million people are at threat of imminent famine and little aid is allowed in.

Inside Gaza, there was little joy. Palestinians in the refugee camp of Jabaliya near Gaza City mourned loved ones among the over 33,000 killed in Israel’s offensive in response to Hamas’s deadly Oct. 7 attack in Israel.

Om Nidal Abu Omeira sat alone among bombed-out buildings and wept on the grave of her mother, son-in-law, and grandson. All were killed in Israel’s offensive.

“They (the children) keep saying, ‘I miss my father, where is he?’ I tell them that he’s in heaven,” she told The Associated Press. “They start crying, and then I start crying with them.”

Elsewhere, people were grateful for the plenty they had after a month of fasting and reflection. Before the holiday, markets around the world teemed with shoppers. Residents poured out of cities to return to villages to celebrate with loved ones.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, nearly three-quarters of the population were traveling for the annual homecoming known locally as “mudik.”

Jakarta’s Istiqlal Grand Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia, was flooded with devotees.

And Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim called for unity and reconciliation, saying no groups should be sidelined based on religion or any other reason.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.