January 2, 2013
IT WOULDN'T BE THE MIDDLE EAST IF THE OFFENSIVE HADN'T BEEN AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY:
Gaza's tunnels rebound from Israeli offensive (MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH, 12/11/12, Associated Press)
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 2, 2013 7:19 PMRafah's biggest industry is back in business: Gazans are rebuilding the network of underground smuggling tunnels crisscrossing the Egyptian border that were pummeled in a recent Israeli offensive, restoring the illicit conduit for consumer goods and weapons so crucial to Hamas rule.The 12-kilometer (eight-mile) slice of land at the Gaza Strip's southern tip is humming around the clock with workers carting in cement, bricks, gravel and scaffolding. The quick rebound has raised questions about how much damage Israel inflicted on the tunnels during last month's eight-day air offensive. [...]The tunnel industry has become key to Gaza's economy since Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the territory after Hamas seized power there in 2007.The tunnels ferry in a wide range of items besides essentials, including Chinese motorcycles, farm and zoo animals, appliances -- and large Iranian rockets that can hit Tel Aviv.