Human Ingenuity in Gaza
By David Henderson
You can get a brand new BMW in the impoverished Gaza Strip, but it’ll come in pieces which you’ll have to weld together.
This is from an article on the effect of restrictions on car imports into Gaza. What I found interesting was how resilient and creative many of the residents of Gaza are in adversity. Here’s more:
“I’m not joking,” says Mahmoud Sallah, a 32-year-old Palestinian from the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, when he describes the grotesque process of how his 2010 model was delivered in four parts through the network of tunnels dug by smugglers under the border with Egypt.
He took the pieces to a mechanic “and now I drive a new car.”
Since Israel declared Gaza a “hostile entity” shortly after the June 2007 take-over by the radical Islamist Hamas movement and imposed its stringent economic embargo, car prices have leaped by at least 50 per cent, and even more than doubled in some cases.
Over the past three years, only 50 new cars entered Gaza through its official border crossings with Israel and Egypt, as exceptional foreign donations allowed through the Rafah passage in the south.
All the rest was smuggled in through the hundreds of tunnels under the border with Egypt, through which goods ranging from fuel to cows, sheep, refrigerators, candy and cigarettes make their way daily.