‘I was shocked at the prices,’ inflation causes hikes at Gaza’s markets | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

‘I was shocked at the prices,’ inflation causes hikes at Gaza’s markets

On a November afternoon at the largest supermarket in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip, for a first time the owner Mohammed Ezz finds himself staring at empty shelves. Rising inflation has pushed prices for consumer goods to their highest level since 2010, making the cost of restocking unaffordable to the 34-year-old grocer. With sales down and a line around the corner for food aid, he worries that his customers no longer can afford to buy from him.

“Because the prices are crazy rising up, I am afraid that people will not be able to pay,” Ezz said. He is then interrupted by a person milling through the aisles who has stopped him to haggle over the price of a product, even though every item is already tagged. Some shoppers leave minutes after entering, holding nothing, only to go to another supermarket to compare prices.

“I was shocked at prices when I went to get the monthly food from the supermarket,” said Ibraheem al-Haj, 45, a father with a full head of gray hair keeping warm in an oversized sweater. Al-Haj lives in Shuja’iyya and used to work as a builder. Today he is unemployed, a common occurrence in the Gaza Strip where the unemployment rate is around 50%.