RAMALLAH, September 6 (JMCC) - Since the end of the Muslim fast month of Ramadan, the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been operating on different time zones.
The different hours set by the rival arms of the Palestinian leaderships is just one more disagreement in a conflict that was born when the Islamic movement Hamas won a parliamentary majority in 2006, leading to armed violence and Hamas control of the Gaza Strip.
In order to ease the difficult summer fast, both Palestinian governments turned back the clocks an hour to winter time. But once Ramadan was over, only the Fateh-dominated Palestinian Authority in the West Bank went back to summer hours, meaning a 60-minute difference in time between the two Israeli-occupied areas of land.
In Gaza, a Fateh-affiliated university is following West Bank hours, an absurdity noted by al-Arabiya
Gazan journalist Sami Abu Salem points out how the time difference between Gaza and the West Bank has become a joke for Palestinians.
“When it is 5:00 o’clock in Gaza and you ask someone in the street about the time, they tell you it’s 5:30, and when you ask why they added half an hour they answer that they don’t want to be biased towards Hamas or Fatah.”
Student Hamman Mubarak approaches the issue in a much more bitter way.
“There’s no problem with time difference. We are two republics and are divided about everything anyway,” he wrote in one of his tweets.
The tweet of IT specialist Ola Anan approached the issue politically and playfully imagined the confusion that might happen when Palestine asks for official recognition at the UN this month.
“I wonder if they will recognize the Palestinian state according to Gaza time or West Bank time.”
Anan created a slogan modeled after those chanted in Arab revolutions but replaced “ousting the regime” with unifying time. “The people demand the unification of the time,” she wrote.
Anan then sarcastically proposed a solution to the time-difference problem: the sundial, an ancient tool used since 3500 BC to measure time according to the position of the sun in the sky and was used by Muslims to determine prayer times.