News / Middle East

Tunnel Closures Hit Gaza Farmers

Tunnel Closures Hit Gaza Farmersi
X
October 10, 2013
An offensive by Egypt’s new government against militants in the Sinai Peninsula has destroyed most of the smuggling tunnels to Gaza. The resulting job losses and shortages of agricultural supplies are squeezing the livelihoods of local farmers. VOA’s Scott Bobb spoke to one of them and has this report from Gaza.
TEXT SIZE - +
Scott Bobb
— An offensive by Egypt’s new government against militants in the Sinai Peninsula has destroyed most of the smuggling tunnels to Gaza. The resulting job losses and shortages of agricultural supplies are squeezing the livelihoods of local farmers.

Mohamed Shamalak and his family have farmed this one-hectare plot of land for three generations. It used to yield dozens of crates of peppers, cucumbers and lettuce each season.
 
Its location on a major highway running almost the entire length of Gaza provided a steady stream of customers. That is not the case today, though.
 
"The people are tired [poor]. I've just picked two boxes [about 20 kg] of cucumbers, and since this morning I've sold only one kilo. People find them too expensive. Everything is costly," said Shamalak.
 
Since the Egyptian government destroyed the smuggling tunnels into Gaza and restricted access to the Rafah Crossing, said Shamalak, prices for fertilizer have skyrocketed. This aggravated a six-year blockade by Israel. The Egyptian government says militants were using the tunnels to stage attacks in the Sinai Peninsula.
 
Many Gazans doubt this. They think Egypt’s new leaders are trying to undermine the governing Hamas movement, which supported deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Shamalak says many more Gazans are out of work now. He has had to lower his prices and is barely breaking even.
 
"The solution is for things to return like they were, open the Crossing, re-open the tunnels, so that all the workers can return to their jobs," said Shamalak.
 
That does not appear likely under the new government in Cairo. So all farmers can do is try to hold on and hope things eventually change.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid