Consumer experts warn that an increasing number of Palestinians are failing to prepare for Ramadan due to increased prices for basic commodities and rising unemployment rates.
On the eve of the holy month, an unprecedented wave of hikes in the cost of essential foodstuffs and fuel, along with financial pressure, has left many in the Palestinian territory increasingly worried.

Incomes have not kept up with the steep price increases, putting a strain on both middle- and low-income families.
With the Palestinian Authority’s financial situation increasing, around 140,000 public employees have been paid only 75-80% of their monthly wage, at a time when many are dealing with additional social obligations and expenses associated with Ramadan.

According to Arab News, the Palestinian administration would base the value and percentage of what it pays its employees on the amount it receives in tax monies collected on its behalf by Israel.

“The government recognizes the employees’ Ramadan duties and is doing everything possible to ease their pain and financial difficulties,” he said.

Meat, vegetables, and common things, as well as pharmaceuticals, have all become more expensive as a result of the government’s failure to stop the price rise.

At the same time, there are rising concerns about major rises in gasoline prices due to the Palestinian market’s linkages to the Israeli economy, which is also under strain due to global energy price pressure.

According to Salah Haniyeh, the chairman of the Palestinian Consumer Protection Association, Palestinians’ purchasing power has plummeted in the run-up to Ramadan, with public employees earning pitiful salaries and unemployment and poverty levels in the Palestinian territories high.

He claimed the group worked with the Ministry of National Economy to postpone price hikes until the conclusion of Ramadan, and that it also collaborated with chambers of commerce and governorates to keep an eye on pricing throughout the festival.

“Unfortunately, the cost of meat, poultry, and vegetables will skyrocket during Ramadan, which is an unreasonable increase.”
To manage customer concerns, the consumer protection organization has set up a social media page and phone numbers. These would be given to the authorities, who will investigate and prosecute violators, he said.

Basic consumables, like as bread and wheat, are in plentiful supply, according to Haniyeh, and authorities have approved fresh livestock import licenses to meet demand throughout Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Awqaf Department in East Jerusalem has finished preparing Al-Aqsa Mosque for Ramadan, including making provisions for pilgrims, scheduling religious sessions, and distributing free meals.

On Fridays, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society has allotted 23 ambulances to Al-Aqsa, and a team of paramedics will be on site to provide rapid medical help if needed.

“We hope that the Israeli government and the police will be prudent and prevent any provocation to the sensibilities of Muslims coming to the mosque,” a senior department official told the Arab News, referring to what he described as Israeli settlers’ invasions into Al-Aqsa.

During Ramadan, Israeli officials have offered to provide facilities for almost 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, allowing worshippers to attend Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Some facilities, however, have yet to be sanctioned following a security crackdown in response to a surge of terror acts against Israeli citizens.


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