Apr 8, 2010

Smuggling into Gaza

The Gaza strip is under siege and trade is completely restricted. But goods are flowing in. The Economist explains how:
The tunnels that snake under Gaza’s border with Egypt have multiplied so fast that supply sometimes exceeds demand. So stiff is commercial competition that tunnel-diggers complain that their work is no longer profitable... Israel officially allows Gaza to import only 73 of more than 4,000 items that are available in the strip... Cement, which cost 300 Israeli shekels ($80) a sack two years ago, has dropped almost tenfold in price... Flashy 4x4 vehicles can actually drive through tunnels built from shipping containers... A car-dealer bringing in a new Hyundai saloon through the tunnels stands to make a profit of $13,000... The petrol pumped into Gaza by underground pipes and hoses from Egypt costs a third of what it does in Ramallah, the Palestinians’ West Bank capital, where Israel supplies it... Imports travel faster through the tunnels than via Israel’s thickets of bureaucracy.

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