Logo
  Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Sign-In  |  Sign-Up  |  Contact Us  |  Bookmark 

Heavy rains that hit the Gaza Strip this week have thwarted
Heavy rains that hit the Gaza Strip this week have thwarted the smuggling of goods through tunnels under the Egyptian border to the Palestinian enclave.

The underground network has been the only permanent supply route into Gaza since Israel tightened its blockade of the enclave last year in response to rocket attacks by militants.

The UN says more than half of the 1.5 million-strong population of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip live below the poverty line.

The torrential rains - some 23% of the annual norm fell recently in a mere 24 hours - have succeeded in achieving what both Israeli troops and Egyptian border guards have so far been unable to do.

"Water damaged tunnels, causing cave-ins and almost completely bringing the underground traffic of goods to a halt," a smuggler said.

He said five of his companions miraculously escaped death when their tunnel collapsed on Wednesday.

According to Palestinian medical authorities, over 40 people have been killed in underground collapses this year.

The number of tunnels is estimated at around 800, and goods smuggled in range from food and cattle to motorcycles and fuel.

Israel, which has blockaded Gaza since the hard-line Islamic Hamas movement seized control of the enclave in the summer of 2007, says the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons and has exerted pressure on Egypt to close the tunnels.

Egypt occasionally opens the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, but has refused to do so permanently.


Print Heavy rains that hit the Gaza Strip this week have thwarted Bookmark Heavy rains that hit the Gaza Strip this week have thwarted

Related News   
SepOctober 2008Nov
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789