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West Bank and Gaza End DST as Ramadan Begins

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Published 11-Aug-2010

Dome of the Rock at sunset

West Bank and Gaza Strip will end DST on the first day of Ramadan, which begins on August 10, 2010.

©iStockphoto.com/hanoded

The West Bank and Gaza Strip ended their daylight saving time (DST) schedule on the first day of Ramadan, which began on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. Both territories moved their clocks one hour back from midnight (00:00) to 11pm (23:00) local time between August 10 and 11.

The time in West Bank and Gaza Strip will change from being three hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3 hours) to UTC+2 hours at this time.

DST Ends on the First Day of Ramadan

The clocks in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip moved one hour back from UTC+3 hours to UTC+2 hours on the first day of Ramadan, which began on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. Both territories moved their clocks from midnight (00:00) to 11pm (23:00) local time between Tuesday, August 10 and Wednesday, August 11.

The Palestinian Authority announced during their weekly meeting in Ramallah that the clocks will be set back one hour when the holy month of Ramadan begins. According to sources, the DST schedule for both territories ended at midnight (00:00) on Tuesday, August 10, when the clocks turned back one hour to 11pm (23:00) between August 10 and 11. Additionally, all government ministries and institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will accommodate for the holy month of Ramadan by changing their official working hours to be from 9am (09:00) to 2:30pm (14:30) local time.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the first day of Ramadan is determined by the head sheikh in Saudi Arabia.  The first day of Ramadan is determined if the head sheikh sees the crescent moon with the naked eye. The supreme judicial council in Saudi Arabia, which is in charge of confirming the sighting of the new moon announced the sighting of the crescent moon on the evening of Tuesday, August 10, which marks the start date of the lunar month.

Gaza Strip and West Bank Time Zone

The Gaza Strip and West Bank both observe Eastern European Time (EET) when they are not on daylight saving time, which is 2 hours ahead of UTC. During the summer time or during the daylight saving time schedule, they both observe Eastern European Summer Time (EEST), which is 3 hours ahead of UTC.

 Although both usually start and end DST at the same time, the two territories are known for changing their clocks on different dates in the past. This circumstance caused a lot of confusion in 2008 and 2009 for the Muslim population in Jerusalem, Gaza City and Ramallah because the fasting times differed in each area during the holy month of Ramadan.

West Bank and Gaza Strip Background

The West Bank is a landlocked territory on the west bank of the Jordan River in the Middle East. To the west, north, and south the West Bank shares borders with the mainland Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the country of Jordan. Since 1967 most of the West Bank has been under Israeli military occupation. The Palestinian Authority (PA) was established in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in 1994, although its authority is limited, especially in Gaza.

The Gaza Strip is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt on the south-west and Israel on the north and east. The territory takes its name from Gaza, its main city. It has about 1.4 million Palestinian (or Gazan) residents.

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