RAMALLAH March 13 (JMCC) - From camels to cars, Palestinians in Gaza
can bring in just about anything through the network of tunnels leading into the Strip from Egypt. The work is thankless and dangerous, says a worker in an interview published
at the Electronic Intifada
AH: Anything you want, we can bring to the Gaza Strip. Everyone knows about the smuggling that happens here; we smuggle animals, water, cars ... and even people, for example, if someone wants to come to get married. I'm serious!
Most of the goods come from al-Arish. You are deemed as a smuggler -- you are not working at [Israeli-controlled] Erez
or Karni crossing, so you are not an official worker, you are a smuggler. So the people in al-Arish bring the goods to the entrance of the tunnel on the Egyptian side, quickly sneak them in, and we bring them over to Gaza.
The tunnels for the cars are so expensive to build, because it has to be three meters wide, [and as tall] as if you are walking in a room. Imagine that you are walking in a room, that is 1.5 kilometers under the ground, and then imagine how much that costs to build.
You may be shocked, but we have brought in camels. Imagine the size of a camel! We put the animal on a sled-like contraption, and it rides into the tunnel down a slope. We have lamps in the tunnel, and every time we turn a lamp off, the animal will walk forward towards the next light, until it reaches the well at the other end. Then we handcuff the animal, and bring it up -- this part really is quite perilous ... people have lost their legs. Donkeys are the most lethal.