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ALM Feature

Anger at Hamas brews as taxes increase in Gaza

Amid growing poverty in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government imposed in the past year a further series of taxes and custom fees.
A picture taken on April 29, 2023, shows a Palestinian fish vendor at a market in Gaza City.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The tax hikes imposed in the past year by the Palestinian Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip have further burdened Gazans who are already suffering from deteriorating economic conditions.

Some 100,000 Gazan families have been receiving monthly stipends of $100 from Qatar as part of an aid package announced in 2014. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in the coastal enclave reached 45%, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics last week.

A February report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed that more than 60% of Gazans need humanitarian assistance. As of July 22, the food insecurity rate in Gaza topped 65%, and the poverty rate stood at 65%, as per the same report.

Ibtisam al-Silawi would buy her 18-year-old son one pair of jeans every two years at no more than 40 shekels ($11). But recently, she paid an additional 10 shekels ($3) after Hamas, which controls Gaza, imposed a 10-shekel tariff last summer on some imported clothing items, including jeans and abayas for women.

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