Palestinians shop at a market in preparation for Eid on 5 July 2016
Israel’s restrictive policies in the run up to the busy Eid shopping season are hindering trade in the old souq in Jerusalem.
Last week, 250,000 travel permits were revoked from Palestinians who live in the occupied West Bank but work or travel to Israel, which has further reduced the customer base for stall holders.
The move came as a means of collective punishment implemented by Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of Israeli government activities in the occupied territories, following an alleged stabbing attack which claimed the life of an armed female Israeli soldier.
According to the Anadolu Agency, the punitive measures include setting up new military checkpoints and barricades in the areas around the holy city and reducing visitor numbers.
When the soldier was killed, Israeli occupation authorities ordered Palestinians to close their markets and imposed fines on traders who violated the order.
The slump in customers and sales has hit traders severely especially as many had begun preparation for the Muslim festival of Eid which is due to take place next week.
Preparing ourselves for the Eid, we imported the needed goods, suddenly, we found the markets empty and goods are collecting on shelves
shop keeper Sharif Abu-Ramleh said.
Trader Yousef Maswadeh added: “Revoking travel permits from the Palestinians in the West Bank was a painful hit to all of the traders in Jerusalem.”
(Source / 20.06.2017)