GAZA CITY, Palestine
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are preparing to welcome the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan under the shadow of economic difficulties caused by the Israeli blockade and the coronavirus pandemic.
The unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip, with a population of nearly 2.1 million, has almost reached 50% due to the land, sea and air blockade imposed by Israel for 15 years, according to UN data.
The recent coronavirus outbreak has also caused to deteriorate the economic situation in the territory.
More than half of the population in the Gaza Strip currently lives below the poverty line.
Despite all these difficulties, the Palestinians are keen to go to the markets for shopping in preparation for the holy month.
“We ask the government to take serious steps to help us in this difficult time", Farooq Hashim Amar, one of the shoppers, told Anadolu Agency.
“As the economic situation deteriorated, the COVID-19 outbreak affected every segment of Gaza. People are doing their best to make their children happy,” Amar said.
Amar called on Muslim countries to provide assistance to the Gazan people.
Coronavirus cases started to pile up in a new wave after Gaza confirmed less than 200 daily infections in early March.
The Palestinian territory has reported more than 81,000 infections, including 677 deaths to date, according to the Health Ministry.
The Palestinian health system, which is already in a difficult situation due to the Israeli blockade, is on the verge of collapse amid a severe shortage of medicines and equipment.
*Writing by Zehra Nur DuzAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.