Luxury Mall Opens in Gaza City

Published: July 20th 2010
in News » Israel

The grand opening of Gaza Mall

Photos of the mall – some taken by Associated Press, though it has not written about the opening – show a sleek, modern, two-floor edifice complete with multi-coloured balloons and throngs of happy shoppers. Stores are packed with products ranging from women’s cosmetics to children’s toys. There are carnival activities for kids, including clowns and face painting; a children’s clothing store features a pink Mickey Mouse-type mascot waving at passersby.


Though there is pervasive poverty in the Gaza Strip, there is also a flourishing upper class – an elite group made up of Hamas officials, people with high level positions in NGOs or jobs with foreign consulates, and well-paid UN workers. There are also smugglers and local crime bosses whose wealth stems from booming business skirting Israel’s blockade.


Gross’s blog also contains photos of other luxury attractions that have opened up in Gaza, including an Olympic-size swimming pool and the Roots Club in Gaza, a restaurant that has a 12-page menu with gourmet fare like steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu.


“As I have written before, of course there is poverty in parts of Gaza,” wrote Gross. “There is poverty in parts of Israel too. But when was the last time a foreign journalist based in Israel left the pampered lounge bars and restaurants of the King David and American Colony hotels in Jerusalem and went to check out the slum-like areas of southern Tel Aviv? Or the hard-hit Negev towns of Netivot or Rahat?”

Related articles: (gaza city, gaza mall, tom gross, hamas, gaza strip)

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