افراحنا و الغانمات
Gaza’s shuttering smuggling tunnels
The border between Gaza and Egypt has long been rife with tunnels guiding smugglers between the two regions, where through the dark pathways have served as a lifeline for many in Gaza. But recently, the Egyptian government has cracked down on them, leaving just a few smugglers left.
So why did the tunnels exist in the first place?
The tunnels have served for years as a lifeline for Gaza, home to some 1.7 million Palestinians.
They became particularly important after Hamas overran the territory in 2007, prompting Israel and Morsi’s Western-backed predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, to impose a stifling border blockade.
Israel has eased the blockade in recent years, but still restricts the imports of some goods, including cement and steel rods. Until recently, the tunnels served as a conduit for such construction materials and for subsidized Egyptian fuel.
Photos: Hatem Moussa / Associated Press
With the Israeli settlement Gilo covering a nearby hillside, a Palestinian priest leads an open air Catholic mass as a form of nonviolent resistance against the Israeli separation wall, Beit Jala, West Bank, October 4, 2013. If built as planned, he Israeli separation wall will divide Beit Jala land and separate a Catholic convent from a monastery, as well as cutting off access to village olive groves.