Sharjah bans New Year's Eve fireworks, celebrations in solidarity with Gaza

Legal action shall be taken against violators, the police said, calling on all institutions and individuals to cooperate

by

Sahim Salim

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Tue 26 Dec 2023, 9:31 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Dec 2023, 4:17 PM

The Sharjah Police have announced a ban on all celebrations and fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve. The move is a “sincere expression” of solidarity with the people of Gaza where the Israel-Hamas war has claimed over 20,000 lives.

The force has appealed to all “institutions and individuals” to cooperate with it and adhere to the announcement. Taking to social media platform Facebook late on Tuesday, the Sharjah Police warned that legal measures will be taken against those who violate the ban. The police did not specify the penalties that will be slapped on violators.

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Sharjah typically ushers in the new year with fireworks that last several minutes over Al Majaz Waterfront.

Multiple festivals and events have been postponed in the Emirate in a show of solidarity with Gaza. The Tanweer Sacred Music Festival, which was to be held in Sharjah’s Mleiha, has been postponed indefinitely. The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) withdrew from the Frankfurt International Book Fair following events surrounding the cancellation of an award to a Palestinian author and statements by organisers of the fair. Spartan Arabia cancelled a race in Sharjah’s Khor Fakkan and cut ties with its parent company over remarks by its founder on the situation in Gaza.

The UAE has been among the most vocal on the international stage in calling for a ceasefire in besieged Gaza. Recently, the United Nations Security Council adopted a UAE-penned resolution that demands substantive, concrete steps to increase the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

Seventy per cent of the casualties on the strip are believed to be women and children. The death toll is expected to rise further as Israel recently said there would be "no peace" until Hamas is destroyed.

Since the siege went into effect, Gaza's 2.4 million people have been suffering severe shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine, with only limited aid entering the territory. An estimated 1.9 million Gazans have been displaced, according to the UN.

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