An Israeli campaign against shops in Old Jerusalem

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Palestinian merchants in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem said that teams from the Israeli municipality in the city, the police, and the tax authority launched a campaign throughout the town today, Tuesday.

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Merchants added that the Israeli crews issued violations against them for many reasons, including the citizens’ failure to wear masks while they were in their shops.

Imad Abu Khadija said that crews from the municipality, the tax authority, and the Israeli police raided his shop on Bab al-Silsila Road in the Old City.

He added, “They issued several violations against me for flimsy reasons, including the presence of a gas tube inside the shop, and the lack of a cashier machine to record sales.”

He continued, “They even punished me for having a picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in my shop, and I tried to inquire about the reason, but their answer was only one word: forbidden.”

Abu Khadija considered that “violations campaigns in the Old City are aimed at forcing us to leave our shops and close them.”

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“We only work to pay taxes, we have been burdened with taxes at a time when there is almost no commercial activity,” he said.

Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli crews raided other shops, and imposed fines on the merchants.

The markets of the old town have been in recession for several years, and its severity has increased with the exacerbation of the Corona pandemic crisis, starting last year.

There was no comment from the Israeli authorities about this campaign.