Inside the Living Hell that is Gaza and its Malls and Hotels

No Lexus or Mercedes? Gaza really is hell on earth.

Everyone knows Gaza is an "open air prison" and a "concentration camp". It's hell on earth.

It's an open air prison with luxurious hotels where you need a crane to cut the cakes. When the media covers Gaza, it stays at the Gaza Grand Palace Hotel. You can pick up the latest iPhone at the local concentration camp mall.

Money is no object for 1,700 Gaza's millionaires.

But Gaza does have problems. Like a luxury car surplus.

Luxury cars with Libyan plates are becoming a common sight in the Gaza Strip, a surprising side-effect of the unrest in the north African country.

Sufian Ahmad, a 36-year-old storeowner, said he had decided to buy a new Kia SUV for $50,000 (Dh184,000).

Mr Amin said he paid taxes on each car to Gaza's Hamas government and the tunnel smugglers, and that there were now "dozens" of vehicles coming in from Libya every week. Customers tended to want 2011 and 2012 Hyundai Sonatas, Kia and Hyundai SUVs, BMWs and 4-wheel-drive Toyotas, he said.

Cars start at $24,000, with sedans going for $48,000 and SUVs costing as much as $100,000, he said.

No Lexus or Mercedes? Gaza really is hell on earth.

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