Photo by Andrew McIntire/TPS on 22 July, 2015

Gaza War Wipes Out Eastern Jerusalem’s Post-COVID Business Recovery

Public By Baruch Yedid/TPS • 6 November, 2023

Jerusalem, 6 November, 2023 (TPS) -- With tourism down because of war in Gaza, merchants in eastern Jerusalem report a sharp drop in business in all areas of commerce.

Palestinian officials say that the popular Salah a Din Street shopping district near the Jerusalem’s Old City is closer than ever to economic collapse.

Hejazi Rishak, who was the chairman of the shop owners’ committee in East Jerusalem, said that over 150 shop owners reported an 80% drop in income.

Many store owners said they had to lay off employees after not having a single shopper enter their stores for three days.

The tourism industry is also suffering from a serious crisis after the first signs of recovery began since the corona crisis.

Ziad Hamouri, a researcher on eastern Jerusalem affairs, estimates that unemployment will soon break new records.

Eastern Jerusalem’s unemployment rate, according to Israeli figures, stands at 8%. Palestinian data, however suggests the rate is 14%. The Palestinian figures include surrounding neighborhoods.

It is estimated that at least one-quarter eastern Jerusalem’s young people between the ages of 15-24 remain unemployed in their homes.

It is also reported that along with the economic difficulties, feelings of hostility between Jews and Arabs in eastern Jerusalem is also strengthening.

One eastern Jerusalem journalist said that that the series of verbally violent incidents between Jews and Arabs is on the rise.