As prices soar, Palestinians in Gaza prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr
Women and their kids are rushing to markets to buy new clothes, sweets and decorations, slightly reviving a struggling commercial sector.
Yet, several clients are complaining about the soaring prices of most goods in the territory, home to more than 2.3 million people.
Ola Hamad, a 29-year-old mother of four, expressed anger to The New Arab as she's forced to limit her purchases to the essentials for her children.
"I could not get all the things my kids (…) the prices jumped crazily and I could not afford them," the woman said while haggling over the price with a children's clothing merchant. "I was able to buy all my Eid needs for less than $US 100. Yet, the situation has now changed and I paid more than $US 150 only for clothes for my kids."
Nagham al-Sawalha, another Gaza-based mother of six, said to TNA that she only buys basic goods to celebrate with her family at the feast.
"I bought some blouses for my two kids, while the others I resorted to buying pants," the woman said. "I do not have enough money to meet the unprecedented soaring prices in the markets."
Part of Eid's preparations by Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave includes making "Eid cakes". But this year, more and more families are unable to enjoy that tradition.
Mariam al-Saadawi, a mother of seven from Rafah City in the south of Gaza, can't afford the ingredients to make the cake, particularly the oil, flour and dates.
"These things have become like figments of imagination," she said to TNA.
According to statistics recently issued by a report of the General Union of Palestinian Workers in Gaza, more than half of the residents lack a source of income mainly due to the illegal Israeli blockade imposed on the territory since 2007.
Moreover, nearly 1.5 million people depend on aid provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees "UNRWA" and other relief institutions operating in the Strip, the report noted.
"Despite the crises and pains Gaza has been suffering since the beginning of this year, the Palestinian people are trying to adapt to their suffering and celebrate Eid al-Fitr," Salam Abu Shaaban, a local clothes merchant, told TNA.
Many families are now looking for low-priced clothes for their children, he added.
Local traders attributed a key reason for the latest increases in prices to Hamas' new taxes on goods imported into the Gaza Strip.