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Friday, August 31, 2012

Report: Gaza vegetables being smuggled to Saudi Arabia

Palestine Press Agency reports that vegetable prices have risen dramatically in Gaza recently, while the prices of fruit have declined.

According to a dealer interviewed, the reason for the rise in prices is that Gazans have been smuggling their vegetables through Rafah tunnels to sell them to Saudi Arabia, which pays better than the local market.

The produce smuggled out include tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant.

Earlier this month, a shipment of vegetables was exported from Gaza through Kerem Shalom to Saudi Arabia, according to Arab media.

Saudi vegetable prices doubled over the summer due to a severe shortage because of the high summer temperatures and drought conditions, so the idea that there is a black market in imported Gaza vegetables is not so far-fetched. 

In July, Saudi Arabia ended a 20-year ban on importing vegetables from Jordan as well, apparently to ease the shortage.