World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip will celebrate the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday on Friday amid rising poverty rates and deteriorating economic conditions.
Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and continues to deprive its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities, including food, fuel, and medicine.
This has also affected their ability to meet the traditional requirements of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Although local traders are selling their goods at reasonable prices, or even considerable discounts, most Gazans just lack the money, according to a number of traders who spoke to Anadolu Agency.
“Most of the people come to the market but leave empty-handed as they can’t afford anything,” one trader said.
A number of Gazans who spoke to Anadolu Agency said they could no longer celebrate the Eid like they used to due to lack of cash.
In Gaza City’s largest public market, 20-year-old Soha Ahmed pulled her young daughter from a toy shop despite the girl’s entreaties.
“But I love that doll,” her daughter cried out.
Soha later told Anadolu Agency: “I came to the market today to buy a new dress for my daughter -- for 50 shekels [about $15] -- but I have nothing extra for toys.”
“My husband is a civil servant employed by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah,” she explained.
“He got part of his salary a week ago but had to pay off the debts he had accumulated over the past month,” she lamented.