GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Amid ongoing economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government has imposed new taxes on the population. In addition to siege and division, the government and its employees are struggling to weather the financial crisis and increased isolation resulting from the destruction of the smuggling tunnels.
On Dec. 1, the Finance Ministry instituted new import taxes on some goods, including fruits, vegetables and livestock entering Gaza through the Karam Abu Salem commercial crossing in addition to new taxes on shops, restaurants and bakeries. Several merchants and shop owners confirmed to Al-Monitor that the Finance Ministry had imposed an import taxes equivalent to a $30 tariff on each ton of fruit, $50 on each calf and $15 on each sheep. The new taxes have angered business owners, leading some to close their shops in protest during certain hours. Other merchants have threatened to halt imports of fruit and livestock until the government revokes what they see as unfair burdens.