In an article in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram on the economic situation in the Gaza Strip, journalist Ashraf Abu Al-Houl wrote about the burgeoning recreation industry and of the low merchandise prices.
Also as part of the interest in the economic situation in Gaza, the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published articles describing the expensive resorts that have been established for Gaza’s newly rich, and a Palestinian website reported on the new mall recently opened in the city.
The following are excerpts from the articles:
Stores Overflow with Goods
Journalist Ashraf Abu Al-Houl wrote in Al-Ahram: “I was last in Gaza in mid-February. Returning three weeks ago, I found it almost unrecognizable… and the greatest surprise was the nature of that change. I would have expected a change for the worse, considering the blockade – but the opposite was the case; it seemed as if it had emerged from the blockade.
“A sense of absolute prosperity prevails, as manifested by the grand resorts along and near Gaza’s coast. Further, the sight of the merchandise and luxuries filling the Gaza shops amazed me. Merchandise is sold more cheaply than in Egypt, although most of it is from the Egyptian market, and there are added shipping costs and costs for smuggling it via the tunnels – so that it could be expected to be more expensive.
“Before I judge by appearances, which can be misleading… [I would like to point out that] I toured the new resorts, most of which are quite grand, as well as the commercial markets, to verify my hypothesis. The resorts and markets have come to symbolize prosperity, and prove that the siege is formal or political, not economic. The reality [in Gaza] proves that the siege was broken even before Israel’s crime against the ships of the Freedom Flotilla in late May; everything already was coming into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. If this weren’t the case, businessmen would not have been able to build so many resorts in under four months.”
Full story: MEMRI – The Middle East Media Research Institute