Creative Palestinians improve Gaza economy

Remember how the Palestinians of Gaza burst out of their ‘prison’ and participated in an orgy of shopping in Northern Sinai?

Gazans return home with purchases

Gazans return home from Egypt with purchases

Some people wondered how they could afford the appliances, furniture, motorcycles, etc. that they carried and dragged back to the Strip. After all, wasn’t the Gaza ‘economy’ a shambles?

Well, now we know.

About $1 million in counterfeit bills, apparently originating in the Gaza Strip, were seized in the Sinai Peninsula in the past few days, Egyptian security sources told Palestinian news agency Ma’an on Thursday.

According to the sources, hundreds of counterfeit bills, which are being used by merchants amongst themselves or in their dealings with the Egyptian banks, are being discovered every day.

The Egyptian security sources estimated that additional forged banknotes would be discovered in the near future in light of the fact that Egyptian residents – mainly in the el-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zweid areas – are expected to use the money they received from Gaza residents in exchange for the various goods they sold them. — YNet

The Egyptians are not amused.

“Anyone who breaches the border will have their legs broken,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency on public television overnight. — AFP 

But Hamas is upbeat as always:

Less than a week ago, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Hamas was seriously contemplating severing the Gaza Strip’s economic ties with Israel, quoting a senior advisor to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The advisor, Ahmed Yousef, was asked whether Hamas was also considering abandoning the use of Israeli currency in the Strip. Yousef indicated that this “might be possible in the future. Residents of Gaza can always trade in American Dollars, Jordanian Dinars or Egyptian Pounds at a later point.” — YNet

I just bet they can.

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