Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS on 20 March, 2024

Hamas Slashes Food Prices, Contradicting Reports of Gaza Famine

Public By Pesach Benson • 4 April, 2024

Jerusalem, 4 April, 2024 (TPS) -- Contradicting claims of famine in Gaza, Hamas lowered the prices of food, while residents said the problem was a lack of money to purchase the basics.

One man told The Press Service of Israel that despite the cost of sugar falling from 100 shekels ($26) to 10 shekels, it has not returned to its pre-war price of three shekels. He explained that before October 7, “There was also work and we could buy. Today there is no work and the prices are higher than before. And so it is for all prices, not just sugar.”

He added, “In any case, we don’t have money to buy.”

A woman told TPS-IL, “Although the prices are cheap, the situation is difficult. Wherever we go, we find everything expensive and even if it is cheap we cannot buy. Let’s hope from Allah that it will return to the way it was before.”

For example, one kilo of flour now costs 10 shekels ($2.68), down from 30 shekels ($8.05), according to instructions from the Hamas-run Central Government Emergency Committee. The price of canned goods dropped in half from 10 shekels to five ($1.34). The prices went into effect on Monday.

The cost of other basic items, including sugar, rice, cooking oil, meat, prepared foods and more were also reduced.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Hamas lowered the prices because the terror group has lost significant control over aid being delivered.

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported that as of Tuesday, 20,019 trucks have delivered 374,540 tons of humanitarian supplies to date since the beginning of the war. COGAT is a unit within the Israeli Defense Ministry that coordinates civilian issues in Judea, Samaria and Gaza between the government, military, international organizations and the Palestinian Authority.

Those deliveries included 12,357 trucks carrying 260,930 tons of food, and 1,433 trucks delivering 28,580 tons of water.

Meanwhile, in a filing presented to the Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday, the state said the number of trucks entering Gaza since October 7 is larger than the number of trucks crossing into the Strip before the war. The state was responding to a legal appeal filed by several human rights organizations.

The filing added that Israel has provided Gaza with more than 3.3 million cubic meters of water through pipelines. It noted that Israel also coordinated the establishment of two new water lines extending from Egypt with the involvement of the United Arab Emirates.

The passage of aid deliveries is controversial in Israel. Food, water and fuel deliveries are frequently stolen by Hamas once they arrive inside the Strip. Israeli authorities have sidelined UNRWA, the embattled UN Relief and Works Agency for distributing food, water, medicine and other supplies. The agency has been under fire amid revelations that many of its staff are members of Hamas, including several who participated in the October 7 attacks.

“Don’t feed Hamas” is a common chant at Israeli demonstrations against humanitarian aid deliveries, and the families of hostages have called on the government to leverage the aid for information, access and freedom of their captive loved ones.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.