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June 15, 2024
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Gaza’s Poor Struggle with Food Affordability Despite Low Prices

Prices of food products have dropped in the Gaza Strip, but residents say many Palestinians in the enclave have no work and no money to buy goods, even if they are cheaper.

Since a border crossing with Egypt was closed earlier this month, much of the goods in Gaza now come from Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Residents of the Gaza Strip said on Friday that vegetables, fruits, sugar and other products are available in the market at lower prices.

However many Palestinians have lost their jobs and have depleted their saving since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, leaving them unable to afford what they need.

“People have no money, so money is dead. People have nothing to live on. Those who are (truly) living are 20% and the 80% are dead, the people are dead,” said Auni Abu Mosbeh from Deir al-Balah.

The transportation of goods from Egypt used to cost three times as much as that of goods coming from Israel or the Israeli-occupied West Bank, from which goods are also shipped without taxes and customs duties.

Products coming from Egypt used to pile at the border.

Those coming from the West Bank and Israel have to pass through two checkpoints one near the West Bank town of Hebron and another at the Kerem Shalom border crossing that links Israel with the Gaza Strip.

Search operations are not as strict at Kerem Shalom compared to those at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

The Bank of Palestine opened one of its branches in the Gaza Strip, which allowed some people to withdraw money.

International officials have said that all 2.3 million Gaza residents are struggling to find food to eat, and 1.1 million are facing catastrophic levels of food shortage.

The deepening Israeli offensive in the southern city of Rafah has made it impossible for aid shipments to get through the crossing there, which is a key source for fuel and food coming into Gaza.

Although Israel says it is bringing aid in through Kerem Shalom, humanitarian organisations say Israeli military operations make it difficult for them to retrieve the aid there for distribution.

The United Nations suspended food distribution in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Tuesday due to a lack of supplies and an untenable security situation caused by Israel’s expanding military operation.

The U.N. has warned that humanitarian operations across the territory were nearing collapse.

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