Fruit-sellers in Gaza are struggling to meet demand
Public employees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have welcomed Saudi Arabia\'s decision to provide financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority, in the hope that they will finally receive their overdue salaries.
Gazan Minister of Finance, Nabeel Kassis
confirmed that Saudi Arabia intends to give the Palestinian Authority $100 million in aid, to ease the financial burden.
In a press statement, Kassis said that Saudi Arabia has not set a date for transferring this money, adding that the money will be used to pay the salaries of the public employees.
Meanwhile, Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf has reiterated that Palestinian people will continue their resistance against Israel and the United States, in spite of all the circumstances surrounding it, from the siege of the Palestinian leadership, and the international sanctions.
In a statement, Assaf said: \"Don’t our Arab brothers have money or have they caved in to US pressure? Do they want to participate in the siege imposed on President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership? They insisted on going to the United Nations and refused a state that excludes Jerusalem and the issue of the refugees.\"
The financial crisis has also overshadowed the overall economic conditions in the sector, where markets are witnessing an unprecedented recession.
For two months, government employees have only received half of their salaries, which led to the accumulation of debts and some shop owners refusing to lend them goods.
Markets in the Gaza Strip are witnessing a recession, as most of them are nearly empty, and sellers are complaining about the lack of shoppers, despite the availability of all kinds of fruits, vegetables and meat.
Public employees are struggling to cater for the basic needs of their families. Mahmoud Fayez, a government employee from Gaza told Arabstoday, \"I\'m not able to provide food for my family, even the milk for my baby. We were receiving our salaries in two installments for a few months and things were still better than they are now.\"
Fayez said he feels embarrassed when he borrows goods from the grocer, or from any one of his friends to feed his seven-member family.
Tarek Shahin owns a supermarket in the Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City. He said that all government employees are borrowing from him. His sales have been affected by as a result of the non-payment of salaries. \"The debts of the employees are accumulating and they will struggle to pay me back,\" he said.
However, government employee, Abu Ibrahim said that he had exhausted all ways to borrow money from relatives or friends. The 45-year old revealed that the grocery seller stopped selling him goods after his debt reached large amounts, pointing out that he supports a large family, including his parents.
Ibrahim wants to receive his salary as soon as possible to end the \"tragic\" living conditions.
The debts of the employees were not limited to grocery stores, but also to vegetable and fruit stalls, while some employees said they they could not afford meat or fish in the current climate.