Rising Tobacco Prices Cause Stir in West Bank

Mustafa Jum’a, who runs a coffee shop in Ramallah in the West Bank, began to worry about his business as the prices for hookah smoke rise due to an extra tariff imposed on tobacco.Israeli authorities suddenly raised import tariffs on tobacco, a move the Palestinians have to follow because of the Paris Economic Protocol signed with Israel in 1994, which states the two must have bond import tariffs in the light with the unified customs framework.The rise has caused a reduction of customers, said Jum’a, adding most of his customers are public employees that used to come to the coffee shop twice or three times a day. “(They) now come here only once, if not every other day,” he said.The hookah price in Jum’a’s coffee shop has risen from seven shekels (around 1.8 U.S. dollars) to 12 shekels (3.4 dollars). He made money when hookah smokers order tea, coffee or other drink, so now he makes less profit due to the reduction of customers.
Via english.cri.cn