Gaza Palestinian Shopping
Palestinians in Gaza are preparing for a significant increase in their prices as a result of the worsening economic situation in Gaza.
Gaza City's first shopping mall opened on February 18, 2017, and for the first time in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the shopping festival offered the opportunity for up-and-coming business owners to showcase their products. Palestinians buy fast food at a food court during the opening of Gaza Mall, a roofed shopping mall in Gaza City, Feb. 17, 2016. Gaza's first Hamas shopping mall will open on February 18 for a two-day festival of shopping, food and entertainment. A Palestinian man buys fast food at a food court in the Gaza Shopping Center on the second day of a shopping festival in Gaza City, Gaza, February 16, 2015. A Palestinian man buys fast food at an outdoor mall in the Palestinian Gaza City on January 29, 2014.
Palestinians carry an injured person to a hospital in Gaza City after an attack on a medical center in the northern city of Beit Hanoun, July 15, 2014. Israeli artillery fire hit a health center near the border crossing with Israel, killing 16 people and wounding more than 200 others, a Gaza health ministry official said. Israeli airstrikes struck two medical centers near the northern border with Egypt on Thursday, July 14, 2016, killing at least 16 people, including Palestinian photographer Rami Rayan, who was wearing a press vest at the time, and wounding more than 200, the Gaza Health Authority said in a statement on Friday, June 2, 2017, a day before the opening of the first Hamas shopping center in Gaza City on the second day of a Gaza Strip shopping festival, February 16, 2015. Palestinian civilians helping to treat the injured at a hospital after a shooting at a health facility near the southern border of Israel on Wednesday, August 1, 2013.
This is the second year in a row that Israel has required Palestinians to obtain military permits - permits if they want to enter Israel or move to the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza. At the time, Israel also began systematically destroying the homes of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the most densely populated part of the country.
Access to Gaza for Palestinians is limited, as Israel also considers it illegal for hundreds of high-ranking traders and others to travel. Access to Palestinians in Gaza from Egypt is more limited than at any time since 2012, and the Rafah crossing is closed most of the time. Palestinians, many of whom are in their 30s or older, are not allowed to pass through the crossing, which is only open for a few hours and with limited access. In September 2000, more than 2,000 Palestinians from Gaza and Egypt were in Egypt, but only about 1,500 had access to them, less than half as in 2012.
This underscores a delicate issue that cannot be neglected indefinitely: if Israel is unable to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, it can no longer be a democracy and a "Jewish state." Israel has restricted access to Gaza for Palestinians from Egypt and other countries.
Egypt has been the gateway for Palestinians from Gaza to foreign countries, but restrictions on movement into Gaza are under the control of Israel's military and security forces, as well as the Palestinian Authority. This increases the risks associated with uncontrolled travel between Gaza and Israel.
Israel still owes the Palestinians in Gaza obligations under the laws of occupation, which it effectively exercises to control the lives and well-being of Gazans. Israel's military and security forces, however, as well as the Palestinian Authority, continue to control the crossings between Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli military and its security forces control all movements into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing and the Erez crossing.
If you are stuck between Hamas and Israel, please do not try to get back to Gaza, but call your embassy to get help. Earlier this month, you distributed food parcels to families in the West Bank. Let us now show the Palestinians in Gaza and their families our love, support and solidarity.
Palestinian human rights activists living in Gaza find opportunities to participate in training, conferences, workshops and meetings held in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and abroad. There are NGOs that offer internships and these are arranged long before you arrive in Gaza.
Israeli checkpoints and settlements on the rugged land, which is partly why expansionist Israelis have focused more on the West Bank than Gaza. A Palestinian state in Israel is being sought, but the peace process has stalled and the last Israeli settlements outside the Gaza Strip were cleared in 2005.
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and bombed the airport's newly built runway after a deadly Palestinian attack. Israel and Egypt have imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza since the militant Hamas group seized power in 2007. The situation is even more dire for the two million Palestinians who have lived under it since Hamas came to power by rival Palestinian forces in 2009. Gaza is under a blockade by Israel and Egypt to prevent weapons and money from reaching Hamas.