Food trucks Deliver rare bright spot in hard-hit West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The coronavirus catastrophe has struck West Bank restaurants challenging. But one portion of the dining industry is bucking the trend: meals trucks.

With dine-in restaurants largely closed because of health limitations, food trucks have enabled entrepreneurial businessmen to discover a means to keep working out. It is a rare bright spot in a land where unemployment is well over 20 percent.

Issa Haj Yasin, an engineering student, opened his initial meals truck before the coronavirus meltdown to give himself an income to pay his college tuition and living expenses.

The company stopped in the very first months of the tragedy but reopened since the pandemic worsened.

“I have six workers that are working in 2 trucks, and I am planning a brand new van that will have yet another four new workers,” Haj Yasin said. The vehicle parked by the curb onto a central street in the West Bank town of Ramallah as employees grilled hot dogs and clients waited patiently to get their orders.

Mohammed Shkukani is just another entrepreneur who runs a java van at Ramallah. He explained the mobile van was his very first organization. “If I confront a political or economic problem at a location, I could move to some other location,” he explained.

The pandemic comes in a tough time for the economy.

After comparative success comprising the virus this spring, the land has obtained a similar trajectory as that of Israel using a post-lockdown growth in cases that compelled the Palestinian Authority to impose a 10-day lockdown in July. The PA has reported over 35,000 cases from the West Bank and over 250 deaths.

Over a quarter of Palestinians lived in poverty before the virus. The World Bank states the figure has probably risen to 30 percent from the West Bank.