Creating new perspectives since 2009

War, lack of electricity mean banks can’t operate in Gaza, Palestine Monetary Authority says

March 25, 2024 at 11:13 am

People pass by the damaged Burj al-Masri building and the surroundings after Israeli attacks in Rafah City of Gaza on March 18, 2024. [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Monetary Authority confirmed that Israel has destroyed a number of banks during the ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip, adding that it is impossible to open the remaining branches to carry out withdrawals and deposits across the Strip due to the ongoing bombing, power outages and the lack of security.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Monetary Authority said this has resulted in an unprecedented crisis in cash liquidity which has worsened as most ATMs are now out of service.

It added that it is following up on complaints from citizens in the Gaza Strip about extortion operations carried out by merchants and some owners of unlicensed exchange shops who use direct debit machines at sale points, or money transfers via online banking applications and charge up to 15 per cent on money they receive.

The Monetary Authority stressed its rejection of all forms of extortion and exploitation of citizens during these harsh circumstances, and said it is working to monitor these accounts.

News had circulated last month that Israeli occupation soldiers had seized 200 million shekels ($54.29 million) from the Bank of Palestine headquarters in Gaza City, further limiting the liquidity crisis in the Strip.

Read: UN chief says there is growing consensus to tell Israel that a ceasefire is needed