(JNi.media) The Gaza Strip is experiencing a struggle over the price of shawarma, after the Hamas government has dictated that vendors must lower the price of an order of shawarma wrap to eight shekels (about $2), two shekels less than its current price. Shawarma vendors in Gaza shut down their businesses for one day in protest against government intervention in market prices, and, in response, the Hamas government suspended implementation of the decree. Gaza’s high court will decide the matter on Sunday, Israel Radio reported.
The Shawarma is a Middle Eastern meat dish, made from shavings of a block of lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats that are placed on a vertical, rotating spit in restaurants, where they are grilled for as long as a day. The meat shavings are cut off and served on a plate, or in a large wrap known as lafa, while the remainder of the block of meat keeps rotating on the spit. The shawarma wrap usually includes tabbouleh, tomato, and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, and pickles. It is similar to the Greek gyros.
Angry shawarma vendors in Gaza are saying that Hamas operates on populist motives at their expense. According to the vendors, the wrap shouldn’t be sold at the same price in a restaurant at an upscale neighborhood in Gaza as it is in a street stall in a refugee camp.
“Things cost more in Dizengoff Center than they do in the Hatikva neighborhood,” vendors complained to Palestinian media, referring to a downtown Tel Aviv shopping mall and what used to be a Tel Aviv slum but has been making a comeback via gentrification.