RAMALLAH, July 23 (JMCC) - Traffic through the tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip with Egypt has stepped up over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,reports
al-Akhbar, with more than 10 travelers a week, some of them women.
The tunnels seek to circumvent a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip that prevents the free transport of goods and people in and out of the occupied territory. The tunnels are regulated by the Hamas-controlled government and are increasingly comfortable for human passage. The more expensive passage can be undertaken in the comfort of a regular car.
A travel ticket from and to Gaza can cost between $30 and $300.
The term "travel ticket" suggests transportation by plane, train, or ship.
But because the people of the besieged Gaza Strip are banned and deprived from such forms of transportation, the ticket actually grants you passage to be smuggled from and to Gaza through underground tunnels.
These tunnels, which have become the only outlet for the strip's residents, all lead to Egypt.
The "mother of the world," as Egypt is popularly known in the Arab world, represents freedom for Gazans, or at least a portal to other countries.
The term "ticket" is not quite accurate, according 23-year-old Hussein Madi, who recently took his mother for medical treatment in Egypt.
He tells Al-Akhbar that the "ticket is an A5 piece of paper with 'travel permit' written on the top."
The paper holds the name of the passenger, the reason for travel, passport number, and date of entry and exit, without identifying the exact destination.
"This is the legal permit for travel, issued by the special crossings and borders committee," Madi says. "The price of the permit is determined by the tunnel owner."