Skip to main content

Gaza wine: from international brand to punishable crime

As the Christian holidays and New Year’s celebrations draw near and put some in the mood for a glass of wine, how are the preparations looking under Hamas in the Gaza Strip with both Muslims and Christians celebrating these holidays?
A Palestinian farmer picks grapes from a field close to the Netzarim Jewish settlement, south of Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Aug. 11, 2003.

While wine has been made in the Gaza Strip for thousands of years, wine and liquor are now illegal under the control of Hamas in Gaza, where a conservative society prevails as it adheres to the teachings of Islamic ideology.

Two months ago, archaeologists discovered a huge industrial area dating back to the Byzantine era and containing a winery that was the largest in the world 1,500 years ago, in what is now the Israeli town of Yavne. Among the discoveries were thousands of pottery jars with the inscription “Gaza wine,” a global brand at the time.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.