GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Ministry of Transportation of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip announced on Sunday that the customs tax on motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles -- also called tuk-tuks or rickshaws -- would be reduced by 50 percent for the coming three months.
The ministry spokesperson Khalil al-Zayyan said in a news conference in Gaza City that the decision was made in consultation with the Ministry of Finance in an effort to ease the burdens facing inhabitants of the besieged coastal enclave, and encourage residents who are deterred by expensive customs fees to register their motor vehicles.
A study conducted leading up to the decision revealed that a large number of motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles were being used across the Gaza Strip without official registration or insurance as a result of the dire economic situations facing Gazans, al-Zayyan said.
The three-month tax cut will be a trial period to see how effective the policy is.
Only 1,000 out of the 15,000 motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles operation in Gaza have official registration, he added.
The Gaza Strip’s economy has been in a state of crisis since 2007 when Israel imposed a military blockade on the coastal enclave after Hamas took control there.
As a result of the economic situation, the Hamas-run government has imposed high taxes on Palestinian Gazans on products such as cigarettes, cars, motorcycles, electric generators, and fuels. In June 2015, it raised the tax on imported cars to 25 percent.