Tunneling in the Gaza Strip in Partnership with the Palestinian Authority

(Seoul Times) Yasser Abu Moailek - "R" is a full-time tunnel-digger with ten years' experience tunneling under the Israeli-Egyptian-Palestinian borders. After the Palestinian Authority was set up in Gaza in 1994, PA officials forced the diggers to either shut down or take them in as partners. "We were making less profit due to the partnership of those people, but at least they kept competition down by shutting down the tunnels they don't own, and guarding the houses that harbor the entrances to their tunnels," R told the Seoul Times. "By the beginning of 2001...weapon smuggling became the primary aim of digging tunnels, as militant groups started funding tunnel-diggers," R said. Today R says he has only one tunnel and does not operate it constantly "due to the tight Israeli security and constant searching for tunnel entrances." On Dec. 17, R was almost killed when the tunnel he was digging collapsed on him and five others.

2004-12-30 00:00:00

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