Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gaza gun glut

This is from a BBC story entitled "Questioning the ceasefire in Gaza," one of those stories from a journalist who has just dropped in on Hamas for a chat. Here are some paragraphs about the tunnel business:
[...] I was winched down into one of these tunnels last month. It is much more sophisticated than the one I was in less than a year ago where sand kept crumbling onto my head, provoking worries that the whole thing could collapse at any time.

These days there are no air holes poked through with small tubes to the surface. Air is simply pumped in mechanically and the roof of the tunnel is solid enough. This time they have burrowed through hard clay.

Some of the passages are equipped with thick plastic pipes that allow businessmen on the Egyptian side to deliver cheap petrol, a commodity in short supply on the Gaza side, which fetches a good price . . .

There is also a roaring trade in cows, sheep and goats. But Kalashnikov rifles and bullets (once the most popular of imports) are no longer coming in.

A tunneller told me there were so many of these weapons in Gaza now that there was no longer much demand.

The tunnel owners who have invested large sums in paying the diggers and supplying the equipment for construction work, make their money back after just two or three runs of merchandise. They say they have to pay a large tax to Hamas, but it is worth it. [...]
And I don't think they are counting those tax revenues by candlelight.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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