Gazans sell gold wedding rings to buy food and shelter for their families

Prices of the precious metal have dropped in the enclave due to cash shortages

Abu Nidal Abu Harb buys gold from displaced Gazans in Rafah city. Jihad Al Shrafi for The National
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At Abu Harb's jewellery store, in Rafah city, Saeed Hamoda is negotiating the price for a gold ring he is trying to sell to buy food and clothes for his children.

Originally a resident of Beit Lahya in the north of the Gaza Strip, Mr Hamoda was displaced to the south where he has not had an income for four months,

“We are living in suffering. We couldn't imagine that we would face such a day,” Mr Hamoda told The National.

The father of two has lost all his savings and has had to resort to selling his wife's gold.

“It was not easy for my wife to give me her jewellery as it is so precious to her, but we want to feed our children,” he said.

With basic commodities costing so much, the money Mr Hamoda is getting from selling the gold is hardly enough to feed his family for a week.

“Everything is so expensive; even the price of this ring will only let me buy 3kg of flour, 1kg of onions, and 1kg of rice.”

Abu Nidal Abu Harb, a gold trader at the store, buys the precious metal from Gazans on a regular basis.

“People come to sell their gold, having fled from their homes from the north to the south,” Mr Abu Harb told The National.

“The aid received by displaced people is insufficient. It is forcing them to sell their jewellery.”

Hamdan Kishta, a trader at another jeweller in Rafah city, said Gazans come to his store to sell gold, but very few come to buy it.

“We are trying to help people by giving them a good price and buying their gold from them,” Mr Kishta said. “I saw how people were sad to sell their jewellery.”

Gazans are using the money they raise to buy tents or rent homes as their savings are almost completely depleted.

Outside the besieged enclave, gold prices remain high but in Gaza they have fallen due to cash shortages, says Mr Kishta.

Before the war started in October, a gram of a 24 carat gold sold in Gaza for around $45, but it has now gone down to around $30.

Fadel Adwan, of the Chamber of Commerce in Gaza and a founder of the Gold Union in the strip, said the economic situation in Gaza is very dire.

“People are selling their wedding rings, which are of sentimental value to them. But, of course, feeding their children is more important.

“We hope the amount of aid increases so people can survive and not be forced to sell their gold,” he added.

Updated: February 18, 2024, 6:35 AM