Palestinian National Authority

Gazans excited over territory's new indoor mall

In a welcome sign of normalcy, a new Western-style indoor shopping mall — complete with an international retail chain, three-story bookstore and bustling food court — has opened in the Gaza Strip.

The owners have overcome conflict and an Israeli-Egyptian blockade to build the gleaming 1,800 square meter (19,000 sq. feet) Capital Mall. Now, they just have to find enough free-spending customers to keep the place afloat.

In many ways, the center is a reflection of the fragile local economy, which has been flooded by consumer goods from Israel that few people can afford. Stifled by the blockade, Gaza produces very little on its own, and poverty and unemployment have soared....

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