Gaza manufacturers of sodas and other beverages are appealing to the Hamas government to intervene and not allow Israel to ship competing items into Gaza, warning that it will cause the loss of hundreds of direct jobs in their industries. They say that the traders who profit from these imports are only a handful of people and that Israel is using this as an opportunity to destroy the Gaza economy. They also point out that while the consumer goods are getting through, the raw materials they require to stay competitive are not, as of yet.
Meanwhile, prices on consumer goods in Gaza continue to plummet. Canned food prices have gone down by 50% in the past two months, and the clothing market is saturated from the combination of tunnel smuggling and goods from Israel. Window-shoppers are expressing astonishment at how inexpensive goods are. Consumers are not yet buying, though, as they wait for the PA salaries which are due by the end of the week. (The EU just sent millions of euros to pay this month's PA salaries, one third of whose employees are in Gaza.)
The retailers also expect to do much better next month at the beginning of Ramadan, which begins around August 11th.
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