A new kind of transport, which has already proved to be very reliable, appeared in Bethlehem. Now donkeys are used for transportation there. As a result of the military conflict between Palestine and Israel, all roads and highways were destroyed in Bethlehem; that is why the citizens once again started travelling on donkeys. Donkeys as a form of transport were first mentioned already in the Holy Scripture.
The roads in Bethlehem are in an awful condition indeed, here and there they are barricaded with stones or bulky obstacles. There is no chance to get from one part of the city to the other by car or by bus. Riding a donkey is the best way of travelling under such conditions. By the way, donkeys are currently the best sellers in Bethlehem. Within the past two years the prices for donkeys increased several times and are still rapidly increasing. A little skinny donkey that used to cost about 150 dollars some time ago, may cost minimum 500 dollars at present. At that, the price for a strong and well-fed jennet may even exceed one thousand dollars.
There are just few donkey sellers in Bethlehem; the people say that donkey business is incredibly profitable now. For example, Naim Salakh monopolized the donkey market in the area of al-Khadr and won’t share the profit with the competitors. “Some time ago there were only 200 donkeys in the village; now the number is 400. Every year the demand for donkeys is increasing. So, the donkey business promises to be very profitable for a long period, until the roads are not repaired at least.”
Palestinian farmers have to adapt to the new conditions of life and save money to purchase donkeys. They cannot get without transport for delivery of fruits to the market, as trading at the market is currently the only source of income for Palestinian farmers.