Middle East Monitor / December 29, 2021
The Israeli occupation authorities have raised taxes and demolished several Palestinian shops in order to eradicate their commercial activities in the markets of occupied Jerusalem, Al-Resalah newspaper reported on Tuesday.
According to Al Resalah, hundreds of Palestinian traders have lost their incomes after they were forced to close their businesses, due to their inability to pay the high taxes, or because the occupation forces had demolished their shops.
Director of Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Studies, Ziyad Hammouri, said: “Over 1,400 Jerusalemite traders are suffering due to the closure of their shops resulting from high Israeli taxes and sluggish trade.”
Hammouri added that the Israeli “war” on Palestinian trade started “systematically” since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, noting that Palestinian produce in Jerusalem “has almost disappeared.”
He said that the Israeli occupation authorities routinely demolish Palestinian shops under several pretexts, including the lack of building licenses, the existence of the shops in non-commercial areas, and failure to pay high taxes.
Additionally, Hammouri said that the Israeli occupation imposes full closure of their businesses during the Jewish holidays, which are frequent during the year.
“These Israeli measures enforced against Palestinian traders in Jerusalem are intended to force them out of the Palestinian city,” Hammouri said. “In the long run, their aim is to evacuate the city and make room for Jewish settlers to replace the Palestinians and change the Arab and Islamic identity of the city.”